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China landslide rescue suspended on new risks

Updated: Aug 19,2015 7:41 PM     Xinhua

Rescue work was suspended on Aug 18 to prevent more geological disasters after a landslide in northwest China’s Shaanxi province last week, local authorities said on Aug 19.

A landslide hit the living quarters of a local mining company as well as three rural homes in Shanyang County in the early hours of Aug 12. As of Aug 19, nine people were confirmed dead, 10 escaped immediately and four have been dug out by rescuers. 56 are still missing. Those missing include villagers, mine workers and their families, as well as construction workers, the rescue and relief headquarters said.

24 sites at risk for dangers such as landslides, ground collapse and cracks have been detected near where the landslide occurred, leading to the decision to suspend rescue operations, the headquarters said.

The county will see heavy rain in the following two to three days, said the provincial meteorological bureau.

Continuous rain could trigger new landslides, the headquarters said, adding weather conditions are another reason the rescue work has been halted.

Rescue efforts will resume as soon as conditions allow, according to the rescue headquarters.