Southwest China Landslide Hits Primary School, Kills 16

A landslide toppled a primary school in China’s southwestern Yunnan province yesterday, killing at least 16 people, a month after two earthquakes shook the area.

Three people are missing, with students comprising 18 of the missing and confirmed dead, Peng Hong, a spokesman for Yiliang county of Zhaotong city, said by phone. Rescue operations continue, Yang Jianping, a police official, said earlier in an interview with China Central Television. Rain is still falling in the area and is forecast to continue for two days, CCTV said.

Two 5.6-magnitude earthquakes shook Yunnan and neighboring Guizhou province on Sept. 7, killing at least 80 people, destroying more than 6,650 homes, triggering landslides and disrupting power and communications.

A May 2008 earthquake sparked protests and accusations that corrupt officials turned a blind eye to substandard construction, including the use of low-quality cement that resulted in so-called tofu buildings. About 90,000 people were killed when schools and other buildings collapsed following the 7.9-magnitude temblor in Sichuan province, which borders Yunnan.

More than 500 rescuers are involved in the current landslide rescue effort, according to CCTV, including soldiers, police and a mining rescue team. Officers arrived at the scene at 12:20 p.m. to find boulders and thick mud hampering their efforts, Yang told CCTV.

Two houses were also struck by the landslide and one villager was buried, while a family of three managed to escape, the local government said in a statement on its website.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Alexandra Ho in Shanghai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Liu at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.