CHENGDU: Medics sprayed disinfectant on both sides of the upper reaches of the Dadu River in Hanyuan county, Sichuan province, Monday, after the water level dropped more than 1 m.
Water had washed away part of the blockage formed in the river by the debris of a major landslide last Thursday night, said Wang Yawen, chief of the Ya'an municipal emergency response office.
Ya'an city has Hanyuan under its administration.
As part of the Wanchang village inundated by the river reappeared after the water level dropped, the Hanyuan county disease prevention and control center sent medics to spray disinfectant there.
"The focus of the disinfection was pig farms and slaughterhouses to prevent the outbreak of epidemics," said center chief Luo He.
At a pig farm there, about 200 pigs drowned.
"We not only disinfected the farm but also buried dead pigs we came across. Whenever the water level drops anywhere, we will come and disinfect it until the water recedes," he said.
The landslide took place in Shunhe township in Hanyuan around 11:30 Thursday night, killing three people, injuring 18 and leaving 30 people missing.
Some 2,000 rescuers are taking motor boats and walking on both sides of the river round the clock to search for the missing people.
"The rescuers are mounting any building which reappears after the water level drops. But they have not found any missing people today (Monday)," said Xu Mengjia, party chief of Ya'an.
Free board and lodging has been provided for relatives of the victims and the missing. The Ya'an city government will try its best to raise the compensation for the bereaved families in line with relevant national policies, he said.
Explosives experts had planned to blast off the debris, which formed a 250-m-long blockage on the Dadu River, resulting in the rise of the water level upstream and endangering people there.
But the plan was postponed for two consecutive days since last Sunday because about 10,000 cubic meters of crags on the mountain opposite the debris were likely to fall into the river at any time.
"Crags falling into the river would give rise to high waves and that would be very dangerous," said Song Weidong, an explosives expert.
Liu Bin, a bus driver, was approaching the site when the landslide took place.
The debris did not bury him, but when it fell into the river, it caused a high wave, which took both him and his truck into the river.
"I was saved thanks to a passerby who ventured to approach the river and pull me out of the truck," said Liu, who is receiving treatment in the county hospital.
All the 18 injured people are being treated in the hospital and none of them have life-threatening injuries, Xu said.