A landslide in a mountainous area in southwest China buries 47 people

BEIJING (AP) — A landslide in southwestern China's mountainous Yunnan province early Monday buried 47 people, killed at least two, and forced the evacuation of 200 others amid freezing temperatures and falling snow.

The disaster occurred shortly before 6 a.m. in Liangshui Village in the northeastern part of Yunnan Province. The Chinxiong County Propaganda Department said rescue efforts were underway to find the victims buried in 18 separate houses.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that two bodies were recovered from the rubble. The cause of the landslide was not immediately known, as survivors and rescue workers suffered from snow and freezing temperatures that are expected to continue for at least the next three days.

Lu Dongmei, 35, was asleep when the landslide occurred, but she survived and was taken to a school building by local authorities.

“I was asleep, but my brother knocked on the door and woke me up. They said there was a landslide there and the bed was shaking, so they ran upstairs and woke us up,” Luo said.

Luo, her husband and their three children, along with many other residents, added that they had received food at school, but were still waiting to receive blankets and other protection from the cold weather.

Lu said she was unable to contact her sister and aunt, who live near the landslide site. “The only thing I can do is wait,” she said.

Last week, lifeguards Tourists evacuated from remote ski area In northwest China, dozens of avalanches caused by heavy snow trapped more than 1,000 people for a week. Avalanches blocked roads, stranding tourists and residents in a village in Altai County in the Xinjiang region, near China's borders with Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan.

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Landslides, often caused by rain or unsafe construction, are not common in China. At least 70 people were killed in landslides last year, including… More than 50 in an open pit mine In the Inner Mongolia region of China.

In total, natural disasters in China left 691 people dead or missing last year, and caused direct economic losses amounting to about 345 billion yuan (48 billion US dollars), according to the National Disaster Reduction Committee and the Ministry of Emergency Management. Natural Resources has taken emergency response measures for geological disasters and sent a working team of experts to the site.

Emergency Management Minister Wang Xiangxi traveled to the landslide site to direct rescue operations, according to a statement from the ministry.

The landslide in Yunnan Province also came just over a month after the landslide in China The strongest earthquake in years It struck northwest in a remote area between Gansu Province and Qinghai. At least 149 people died in the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that struck on December 18, reducing homes to rubble and causing severe mudslides that submerged two villages in Qinghai province.

Nearly 1,000 people were injured and more than 14,000 homes were destroyed in China's deadliest earthquake in nine years.

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