Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C, front) instructs the rescue missions in Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China's Gansu Province, Aug. 8, 2010. 127 people have been confirmed dead, 76 others injured and 2,000 missing as of 4 pm on Sunday in landslides triggered by torrential rains in Zhouqu County. [Xinhua]
ZHOUQU, Gansu - Premier Wen Jiabao has urged rescuers to race against time to search survivors after catastrophic mudslides hit a northwest China county and left nearly 1,300 people missing Sunday.
At least 127 people have been confirmed dead and 1,294 others were reported missing in rain-triggered mudslides in Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province, early Sunday morning.
"For those who were buried under the debris, now it's the most crucial time to save their lives," Wen stressed during a meeting held at the county government late Sunday night.
He said the search and rescue work must not be halted as long as the possibility for finding survivors still exists.
He instructed the rescuers to locate places where most people were buried or trapped and to clean the sludge as soon as possible.
Wen also demanded that traffic, power supply and telecommunication in the county should be resumed as soon as possible.
"And people who have been evacuated should be taken good care of," Wen stressed.
Wen and some officials with the State Council left Beijing Sunday noon and arrived at the mountain county at 4:35 p.m.. He began inspecting the disaster areas soon after the arrival.
He walked through the mud and rocks and came to the worst-hit Sanyan valley, where a village of some 300 households was entirely submerged by the mudslides.
More than 680 villagers have been rescued.
Related: 127 dead in rain-triggered landslides in NW China