CHINA> Regional
Death toll in SW China landslide rises to 26
Updated: 2008-11-03 19:25

Kunming -- The death toll from landslides and mud-rock flows in southwest China's Yunnan Province has risen to 26, as four more people are confirmed dead, local authorities said Monday.

The bodies were found in a village in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, the area hardest hit by two days of torrential rains, said the Chuxiong disaster relief headquarters.

Chuxiong has so far reported 20 deaths and 41 people missing. The provincial capital Kunming reported four deaths and Lincang City, two deaths.

More than 411,000 people in 13 counties of the province have been affected rains that triggered landslides and mud-rock flows.

More than 25,000 people had been evacuated to safe places and five disaster relief teams were at work, said Fa Yubin, deputy head of disaster relief in Chuxiong.

Initial investigations show more than 1,000 homes collapsed and some 2,300 others were damaged in the disaster. Cropland, power supply, telecommunication and transportation were also affected.

The government of Chuxiong has allocated 1.5 million yuan (220,000 U.S. dollars) for relief work.

Yunnan branch of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) said the first batch of relief materials, including tents and quilts, were transported to Chuxiong on Monday morning and were being distributed to Xishelu and some other damaged areas.

The local government was also sending rice, clothes and other necessary materials.

Soldiers, police officers, local government officials and medical staff were helping those affected..

The weather forecast said heavy rain could continue in the affected areas in the next day or two, hampering relief efforts.