ZHOUQU, China — The death toll from a massive landslide triggered by floods in China’s northwest has risen to 337, the country’s state media said on Monday.
The Communist Party chief of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province also told the state-run Xinhua News Agency that more than 1,100 people were still missing.
The disaster struck Sunday as a debris-blocked swollen river burst, swamping entire mountain villages in the county seat of Zhouqu and ripping homes from their foundations.
It is the deadliest incident in China’s worst flooding in a decade.
Meantime, rescuers armed with little more than shovels searched for hundreds of people after a torrent of mud engulfed the town, tearing down homes and filling the streets with sludge.
Upstream from the disaster, demolition experts and geologists were working frantically to drain a lake that had built up behind a barrier of landslide blockage.
With more rains forecast for this week, there would be fresh tragedy if the unsecured dam bursts, creating a new mud flow.
The region is dominated by steep and barren hills.
Troops, police and firefighters deployed
Premier Wen Jiabao visited the disaster-hit town on Sunday, to survey the wreckage, promise government help, console survivors, and urge rescuers and engineers to work as hard as possible to save lives and prevent fresh tragedy.
China has deployed all the resources of a powerful central government to battle a string of natural disasters in recent years — flooding, quakes and landslides — winning popular support for both the military and the leadership.
Six thousand troops, police and firefighters worked through the night to dig out survivors, though the slurry of mud that devastated the worst-hit areas dimmed hopes of finding many alive under the wreckage, and complicated rescue efforts.
Over a meter deep in many areas, the mire has made it almost impossible for rescue teams to bring in vital heavy equipment.
As of Sunday night, more than 1,240 people had been rescued from among the debris or were plucked from the top of buildings where they had taken refuge from the onslaught. Over 100 were injured, 29 seriously.
Streams of refugees trekked out of the area, some carrying a few possessions they had managed to salvage, others with a grimmer load — the bodies of loved ones killed by the sludge, the official China Daily newspaper said.
Power lines are down in two-thirds of the county, and water up to 13 feet deep is still surging through some parts of town, the official Xinhua agency said. At least 45,000 people have been evacuated, including the residents of downstream towns thought to be at risk from a fresh mudslide.
The Ministry of Finance has set aside 500 million yuan ($74 million) in emergency funds for the region.
The Agriculture Ministry has also sent protective equipment and disinfectant to an area with large numbers of livestock — there are many nomadic Tibetan herders living there — to help battle possible epidemics caused by dead animals.
In the magazine, Em talks about his own mortality, admitting he thinks about death — a lot.
“Yeah, I do. A lot. I think about it a lot. I try not to think about it, but I do and it creeps me the f*** out. It creeps me out because they say that if I got to the hospital two hours later then I would be gone. I think about that a lot. When I lay in bed at night is when I think about it the most. It creeps me out man,” he says.
‘8 Mile’ co-star Brittany Murphy’s passing was also on his mind during the interview. “It was crazy. It’s crazy. It’s crazy because at one point we were very close and she was a really good person. It’s crazy when you see things, not just with her, but just all these things that are happening in Hollywood.”
He thinks the culture of being a celebrity is part of the problem. “It’s one of those things man where you’re famous, doctors will kiss your a** because they love the celebrity. ‘Oh, I can call up Eminem and get him on the phone right now. Oh, hi Marshall, how are you doing? Do you need that [prescription]?’ There are doctors that will give you certain things just because of who you are.”
A PORKY mum has admitted killing her much smaller boyfriend — after she SAT on him during a row.
Massive Mia Landingham, who weighs 300lbs, got into an argument with her lover Mikal Middlestone-Bey last August.
And during the fight Landingham sat on tiny 120lb Mikal, literally squashing the life out of him.
The portly mum-of-three was sentenced to three years probation and 100 hours community service after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
She was immediately released from jail on Wednesday after the trial in Cleveland, Ohio.
Landingham said she was sorry for squashing the father of her children.
She told the court: “I just want to say that I am sincerely sorry about this situation. I wish I could take it back.”
Mikal’s outraged sister said: “So basically you can say that I can go sit on somebody and get probation?
“I feel there wasn’t no justice.”
Landingham faced a maximum of five years behind bars.
A court in China’s far western Xinjiang region sentenced six men to death Monday over riots between Muslim Uighurs and members of the Han Chinese majority that killed nearly 200 people in July.
The sentences – the first for any of the scores of suspects arrested in the rioting – appeared aimed at placating Han Chinese who have rallied in the regional capital of Urumqi calling for swift justice. An overseas Uighur activist, however, said they were only likely to exacerbate the ethnic tensions that bubbled over in July into China’s worst communal violence in decades.
Xinjiang has been under heavy security since the strife, and state TV showed paramilitary troops in riot gear surrounding the courthouse Monday.
State media said that seven people were convicted of murder as well as arson and robbery. Six received the death penalty: Abdukerim Abduwayit, Gheni Yusup, Abdulla Mettohti, Adil Rozi, Nureli Wuxiu’er, and Alim Metyusup. Li Jie, a spokesman for the Xinjiang regional government, said a seventh person was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Tayirejan Abulimit was given the lighter penalty after aiding police in the capture of Alim Metyusup, the reports said. Their names appeared to identify the men as Uighurs.