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34 people lost in SE China landslide

THIRTY-FOUR people remain missing after a landslide hit southeast China's Fujian Province Sunday morning, sources with authorities in Sanming City said.

The landslide occurred at about 5 a.m. in Taining County, where about 100,000 cubic meters of mud and rocks flowed downhill, burying a temporary shed at a hydropower station construction site and damaging its offices.

Rescuers have helped bring seven injured people to safety. Currently, there are more than 400 rescuers searching for the 34 missing people.

A professional rescue team with the armed police force is on the way to bring much-needed equipment and life detectors. Experts from Beijing and east China's Hefei City are rushing to join the rescue efforts.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged maximum efforts to ensure a speedy rescue mission. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang issued a written instruction calling for full efforts to search for and rescue those missing in the landslide and to treat the injured.

Torrential rainfall hit much of eastern and southern China over the weekend.

The landslide in the scenic county of Taining was triggered by heavy downpours, which unleashed 191.6 millimeters of rain in 24 hours starting on Saturday. The local tourism administration ordered all scenic spots to suspend business starting at 8 a.m.

Further inland, Chongqing Municipality and Hubei Province have been hit by heavy downpours accompanied by strong gales and hailstorms. Rescuers had to evacuate thousands of people to avoid flooding and landslides.

China is poised for a major flood year. The world's largest hydropower project, Three Gorges Reservoir, on China's longest river, the Yangtze,recorded inflow of 17,800 cubic meters per second on Sunday, the highest since 1992.


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