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Asia

Hopes fade for survivors of floods in China

Over 1,110 people have been killed and more than 600 are missing in northwestern China. The likelihood of more landslides is "relatively large" according to the National Meteorological Center.

The town of Zhouqu is piled up with debris and mud

The town of Zhouqu is piled up with debris and mud

Although the chances of finding many survivors alive in the remote northwestern Gansu province is fading, on Wednesday one 50-year-old man was rescued from a flooded hotel where he had been trapped for over three days.

10,000 police and troops have been deployed to help with rescue efforts

10,000 police and troops have been deployed to help with rescue efforts

China's Xinhua news agency reported that Wang Dianian had been found on the second floor of the Fuxing Hotel in the valley town of Zhouqu.

Television images showed him being led away by soldiers. He was reportedly dehydrated but in a stable condition.

Rescue efforts hindered by heavy rains

However, over 600 people are still missing and heavy downpours are hindering the rescue efforts. Some 45,000 people have been evacuated from Zhouqu.

Tens of thousands of residents have been displaced and there are shortages of food and clean drinking water.

Some people have come to the town to look for the bodies of their relatives so that they can give them a proper funeral.

Over 10,000 police, troops and firefighters have been deployed to the flooded town to help with the rescue efforts. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and other top leaders also visited to express their condolences.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and other officials visited the disaster zone at the weekend

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and other officials visited the disaster zone at the weekend

Fear of water-borne diseases

The authorities have shifted their focus to trying to prevent an outbreak of water-borne diseases, such as cholera. Hundreds of medical workers have been sent to the area as well as epidemic prevention experts. No major epidemics have been reported so far.

Meteorologists are predicting thunderstorms over the next few days which could trigger more mudslides.

Some locals are angry and blame government policies for making the town vulnerable to landslides. "This has happened before. The government knew it could happen again and did nothing to prevent it," a farmer told the Reuters news agency. He had lost five relatives.

at/AFP/Reuters/AP
Editor: Disha Uppal

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