Deadly Mudslides Affect China's Sichuan Province

Heavy rain in the past two days caused mudslides and flooding in southwest Sichuan province, killing at least 11 people and leaving 60 others missing in the latest natural disaster to hit the country, state media has reported. The area was hard hit during a massive earthquake in 2008 which killed at least 80,000 people. Authorities were still trying to work out exactly how much damage had been caused, the Xinhua agency said, suggesting the death toll may rise. Rescue efforts have already started. The mudslides were concentrated on the villages of Qingping and Tianchi, the report said. Qingping is surrounded by mountains, where the soil had been made unstable after the 2008 earthquake. At least 1,239 people died and 505 remained missing in the adjacent Gansu province to the north. An avalanche of mud roared down the slopes of a mountain last weekend after unusually strong downpours. More rain is forecast for the region over the next few days.