China announces emergency response after landslides kill 26 in Yunnan

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BEIJING, Nov 03, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- China initiated a level three emergency response on Monday after rain-triggered landslides killed at least 26 people in southwestern Yunnan Province.

Continuous downpours in and south of the Yangtze River since Friday have caused floods, landslides and mud-rock flows in the worst-hit Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

More than 411,000 people in 13 counties and cities of Yunnan have been affected, according to statistics of the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. In Guangxi, more than 847,000 people were affected, with at least eight dead.

According to forecasts, areas in and south of the Yangtze River could expect medium-intensity rain, with Yunnan, Guizhou, Hunan and Sichuan to be hit by heavy rain during the next three days.

The administration urged its local divisions and other departments in Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hunan to enhance weather forecasts and closely monitor the situation.