Death toll in SW China landslide rises to 22

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Landslides and mud-rock flows had left at least 22 dead and 45 missing in southwest China's Yunnan Province, local authorities said Monday.

More than 411,000 people in 13 counties of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture and provincial capital Kunming were affected by disasters triggered by torrential rains over the last two days, according to the provincial civil affairs department.

A department official said they usually calculated casualties and damage based on reports from the grass-roots authorities, and it was still too early to ascertain the exact number of all major and minor landslides in different regions.

Initial investigations showed that more than 1,000 homes collapsed and some 2,300 others were damaged in the disaster.

More than 10,600 hectares of cropland, power supply, telecommunication and transportation were also affected.

More than 25,000 people in Chuxiong had been evacuated to safe places and five disaster relief teams were trying to help the affected people, said Fa Yubin, deputy head of disaster relief in the region.

The government of Chuxiong has allocated 1.5 million yuan (220,000 U.S. dollars) to the relief work. Rice, tents, clothes and quilts were being transported to the worst-hit areas.

About 150 soldiers were searching for those missing.

Weather forecast indicted that heavy rains could continue in the affected areas in the next day or two, hampering relief efforts.

Editor: Du Guodong