Mudslides Destroy Hundreds of Homes in Chinese Villages; Many Feared Dead

By Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao
Nicole Hao is a Washington-based reporter focused on China-related topics. Before joining the Epoch Media Group in July 2009, she worked as a global product manager for a railway business in Paris, France.
July 9, 2020Updated: July 9, 2020

Four villages in the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou were buried by mudslides in the early morning of July 8, causing roughly five hundred villagers to lose their homes within minutes. Meanwhile, heavy rain in other regions led to several rivers breaking their banks and submerging crop fields.

Mudslides also occurred in other parts of Guizhou and in central China’s Hubei Province, but it was not immediately clear how many people were buried underneath.

Continuous rainfall has inundated the regions of Hubei, Guizhou, Hunan, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Chongqing, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong. The number of residents in these areas equates to roughly half of the entire Chinese population (about 695 million), but authorities claimed that only about 20 million people were impacted by the recent flooding.

Moreover, residents close to the site of mudslides in Guizhou told the Chinese-language Epoch Times that local authorities didn’t allow them to approach the disaster area and refused to tell them about the situation there.


After 4 a.m. on July 8, heavy rain caused mudslides to wash away houses in Ganlong township, Tongren city in southwestern China’s Guizhou Province. Local authorities announced that 133 houses were destroyed and 507 people lost their homes.

But local villagers said the devastation was in fact much greater.

Li Jun (pseudonym), resident of the Shiban village in Ganlong, said many more houses were destroyed in his village alone. “Almost the whole village was buried. Only three or four houses are still standing. They [rescue team] dug out many fellow villagers from the mud, but they had already died,” he said in a July 8 interview.

Ganlong is the town farthest away from the city center in Tongren. The rescue team arrived after 10 a.m., more than five hours after the mudslides occurred.

“It’s miserable!” Li said. He added that many villagers had been washed away by the floodwater, over thousands of acres of land were submerged under the flood, and the main road connecting the township to the city was also destroyed.

Two connecting villages nearby—Ganlong Shangjie and Ganlong Xiajie—could also be facing mudslides. Jin Hu, a store owner at Ganlong Shangjie, said more than 1,000 rescue members arrived at the villages, but they didn’t provide details about the catastrophe.

According to Jin, a nearby mountain called Fenghuang Ling has started to show cracks. Some of his fellow villagers have moved to live with their relatives who live far away.

A restaurant owner at Mushu village, which is two miles away from Shiban, said: “The Shiban village is under lockdown. The officials don’t allow anyone to enter the village. We are not allowed to take out our phones even from far away.”

When The Epoch Times contacted the Ganlong Clinic, the nearest medical center to Shiban, a receptionist said that most of its staff went to assist the disaster site, but she refused to divulge more information. “All wounded people were sent to other hospitals,” she said.


From July 4 to July 7, rainfall in the northwestern province of Hunan, southern Anhui, and northern Jiangxi reached 300 to 500 millimeters (11.8 to 19.7 inches). In Huanggang city of Hubei, rainfall reached a whopping 800 millimeters (31.5 inches), according to official data.

In one county in Jiangxi, the total rainfall in a 24-hour time span from July 7 to 8 (about 21.2 inches) equated to the annual rainfall in Beijing thus far. Other cities in Jiangxi also recorded the heaviest rainfall in their history.

Embankment breaches also occurred at several rivers in Hubei and Jiangxi.

And in Jingdezhen city in Jiangxi—known for producing fine Chinese porcelain—local resident Mr. Xu said flood waters reached about 3 feet high.

In a phone interview, he said all crop fields in the region were submerged by the flooding.

Meanwhile, in Wuyishan city in the southeastern province of Fujian, flooding on July 9 reached over four feet in most parts of the city and washed away cars and other private property.