China landslide traps 100s

2011-07-16 14:03

Beijing - Landslides triggered by torrential rain across China left 13 people dead and hundreds trapped in their cars, state media said on Saturday.

Five people were killed when a bus and truck were "damaged" by a mudslide in the northern province of Gansu, the official Xinhua news agency reported, while eight more died later en route to or in hospital.

The report did not say whether the vehicles crashed or how the victims died.

Xinhua also reported that more than 800 people in over 300 vehicles had been stranded on a highway in southwest China's Yunnan Province after the road was blocked by mud and rocks, citing local police.

No casualties have been reported, the agency said, and rescuers were clearing the road.

China is annually hit by big summer rainfalls. Last year, they triggered the nation's worst flooding in a decade, leaving more than 4,300 people dead or missing in floods, landslides and other rain-related disasters.

One devastating mudslide in the northwestern province of Gansu killed 1 500 people last August.

A landslide tore through the town of Lueyang in Shaanxi province earlier this month, engulfing 12 houses.

Rescuers pulled out 17 bodies and three survivors, one of whom later died in hospital, the government said.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs said on July 1 that 279 people had died in China in natural disasters in June alone - a large portion of whom were killed by rain-triggered accidents such as floods and mudslides.