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Death Toll in China Landslide Rises

  • VOA News

Rescuers search for victims after a landslide, triggered by sustained rains, buried a school and three farmhouses in Yiliang, southwest China's Yunnan province, October 4, 2012.

Rescuers search for victims after a landslide, triggered by sustained rains, buried a school and three farmhouses in Yiliang, southwest China's Yunnan province, October 4, 2012.

China's official news agency says another body has been retrieved after a landslide on Thursday in southwestern China, bringing the death toll to 19, including 18 elementary school students

The Xinhua news agency said that the body was found Friday afternoon. Xinhua did not identify the victim or say whether it was the body of a person earlier listed as missing.

Yilian county officials said the 18 students were confirmed dead early Friday, about 18 hours after the landslide buried a school and three farmhouses in the village of Zhenhe. Officials earlier said one person was injured and was receiving treatment at a temporary medical station.

The government said the landslide blocked a river, and water pooled around the buried buildings, hampering rescue efforts and forcing the evacuation of around 800 people.

Officials said about 2,000 residents, police, medics and military personnel rushed to the scene to begin rescue efforts.

Normally, the students would not have been in school, because China is in the middle of a week-long national holiday period. But officials say the students were making up for classes that were canceled following last month's earthquake which left 81 people dead.

Southwestern Yunnan province is a mountainous, earthquake-prone region. Last month's 5.6-magnitude temblor devastated several villages and displaced more than 200,000 people.
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