Deadly landslide strikes Sichuan Province in China, leaving 19 dead

Heavy rainfall causes catastrophic landslide in China's Sichuan

In the early hours of June 4, 2023, a catastrophic landslide in the Sichuan Province of China resulted in the confirmed deaths of 19 individuals. The landslide, which occurred in a forest park in Jinkouhe District, near the city of Leshan, ended rescue efforts and instigated an investigation into the cause of the mountain collapse.

On Sunday, June 4, 2023, a tragic landslide in the Sichuan province of southwestern China resulted in the confirmed death of 19 individuals — all apparently workers with the Jinkaiyuan mining company. The landslide occurred near a state-owned forestry station in Jinkouhe, close to the city of Leshan, at approximately 06:00 local time. The collapse sent a destructive torrent of mud and debris toward a nearby mining company’s construction site, obliterating parts of the production and living facilities at the mine platform.

According to state broadcaster CCTV, the search and rescue work ended by 20:00, and an investigation into the cause of the collapse is currently underway. The footage broadcasted by CCTV depicted a grim scene of rescuers and excavators navigating a stretch of land transformed by the disaster, with twisted metal, smashed masonry, and the flattened remains of a wooded hillside littering the area.

The local government in Jinkouhe initially reported 14 deaths, with five people missing. However, all 19 individuals have since been confirmed dead. An undisclosed number of mine workers were safely evacuated, as reported by CCTV.

In response to the disaster, over 600 people, along with a significant amount of rescue and recovery equipment, were dispatched to the site. The settlement, home to around 40 000 individuals, is located approximately 386 km (240 miles) south of the provincial capital, Chengdu.

Landslides pose a frequent threat in China’s rural and mountainous regions, especially during the rainy summer months. The Sichuan province, characterized by its remote, densely forested landscapes, is particularly susceptible to such disasters. In 2017, extreme weather conditions triggered multiple landslides, including one which entirely buried the mountain village of Xinmo, engulfing more than 60 homes.

The province is also known for its seismic activity, often experiencing powerful earthquakes. A devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake in 2008 resulted in over 87 000 people being declared dead or missing, including 5 335 school pupils.


1 China landslide death toll rises to 19 as rescue work ends – CNA – June 4, 2023

2 19 dead after mountain collapse in SW China – Xinhua – June 4, 2023

Featured image credit: Weibo


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