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Heavy rain, landslides claim 9 in Shaanxi

By Ma Lie and Lu Hongyan in Xi'an | | Updated: 2013-07-23 21:55

A downpour in Yan'an, Shaanxi province, killed nine people and caused landslides from Sunday to Tuesday morning.

The Shaanxi Provincial Meteorological Observatory issued an emergency yellow rainstorm warning on Monday, which said that up to 150 mm of rain was expected to hit most parts of the province from through Tuesday.

According to Yang Xiao, deputy mayor of Yan'an, the city was hit by continuous rain from July 3 to 18, with landslides and water logging.

Lu Dexian, captain of Yan'an city fire brigade, told China Daily that the brigade dispatched 20 rescue teams to the area.

The deputy mayor said that the city had evacuated 166,000 people from places affected by the heavy rain, and those who did not have relatives to rely on were relocated by the government.

Yan'an has set 740 temporary settlements for some 50,000, Yang said.

According to Han Jihong, deputy director of Yan'an Land Administration Bureau, the city is prone to landslides because of the ground is make up of loess. Also, residents traditionally built their houses on or near the mountains, Han said.

In 2011, the city launched a project to encourage residents to move from mountainous areas. This year's rainstorm will speed up the project, Yang said.

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