More than 40 lives are suspected to have been lost after a massive flood triggered a landslide in the Chinese region of Dujiangyan in the Sichuan province. Buildings, homes, bridges were destroyed as they collapsed and gave way to the heavy rains.
It has been labelled as the worst flooding in China in the last 50 years and caused hundreds of people to become trapped, some in a highway tunnel, it also destroyed an important memorial to a massive 2008 earthquake which claimed thousands of lives.
In addition to the destruction in the western part of China, the northeast was also ravaged by rain. At least 12 people were killed while engaging in construction work on a coal mine workshop. This accident happened on Tuesday night and was caused by heavy rain and high winds which caused the structure to collapse.
Rescue workers with dogs worked frantically to look for any survivors in the collapse which buried more than 30 people in the city of Dujiangyan in Sichuan.
Hundreds of people were trapped in a highway tunnel in between Dujiangyan and Wenchuan which was ironically the same spot which was the epicentre of the massive earthquake which happened 5 years ago and claimed 90,000 lives.
This article from Smh.com.au explains what happened,
Mudslides and flooding are common in China’s mountainous areas, killing hundreds of people every year. Deforestation has led to soil erosion and made some parts of China prone to mudslides after strong rains.
In nearby Beichuan county, flooding destroyed buildings and wrecked exhibits at a memorial for the 2008 earthquake. The quake left the Beichuan county seat unlivable. The town was abandoned, and 27 square kilometers (10 square miles) of ruins were turned into a memorial and museum.
State news media said 23 feet of water had inundated a recently opened museum to earthquake victims. Survivors have long since been moved to a new town centre.
The Oriental Morning Post, a newspaper based in Shanghai, urged the government to better protect the memorial area, which contains the buried remains of hundreds of people whose bodies were never recovered from the rubble.
‘‘If we don’t take effective measures,’’ the editorial said, ‘‘in another 10 or 20 years the ruins might not be there at all.’’
The destruction in China did not end there, even further north in the Shanxi province 12 workers were reportedly killed while working on a coal mine workshop. The workers were hit by a violent rainstorm which caused the unfinished structure they were working on to collapse, killing them. This incident highlights the danger that construction workers are placed in when natural disasters occur, especially because the structures they are working on aren’t yet stable to withstand the elements.
The rain was so heavy that it flooded the entire northern region including Beijing which was covered in rain for the entire week.
Structures couldn’t hold up to the heavy conditions, and another old bridge, around 50 years old collapsed causing 6 vehicles to be engulfed by the raging waters of the flood, 12 people are still missing from that incident.
According to the report on Smh.com.au around 360,000 people are expected to have been impacted by the flooding which began on Sunday. More than 300 homes have been destroyed and at 6100 had to be evacuated.