At least 91 people are missing after a landslide damaged 33 buildings in an industrial park in south China on Sunday, according to CNN. The Chinese government has ordered immediate rescue efforts following the landslide in the city of Shenzhen, in Guangdong province.
At least 13 people were hospitalized, three of them in serious condition, according to Shenzhen’s emergency response office. Of the missing, 59 are male and 32 female, state-run CCTV said Monday, citing rescue officials.
China’s Ministry of Land & Resources has blamed the disaster on a collapse of piled-up construction waste and soil residue in the area, state media said. It also cited a local emergency office giving a sharply increased estimate of the number of people missing. The figure had previously stood at 59.
An area of about 1 million square meters has been buried in soil.
In another video posted by New China TV, the ground is lifted to a 25 degree angle, while a sea of soil drowns everything in its path. People are seen scattering, as a forceful explosion behind one of the buildings blows a mass of black earth into the air.
Local authorities have evacuated over 900 residents from the disaster zone, and more than 1,500 firemen, police officers, and health workers have been dispatched to the area.
Major landslides are not uncommon in China. Last month, 25 people were killed in a landslide in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
NYT noted, in August, a chemical storage depot exploded in the northern port city of Tianjin, killing more than 170 people. In October, a building collapsed in the central province of Henan, killing at least 17 construction workers. A landslide in May in southwestern Guizhou Province caused a nine-story building to collapse, killing 16 people.
The 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, which left more than 87,000 people dead or missing, including many children crushed in schools, brought national attention to the shoddy construction of many buildings, derisively called “tofu buildings.”
In the case of Sunday’s landslide, one Weibo user, with the online handle “Tiger from Xinzhou,” criticized the news media’s emphasis on what leaders were doing. “Less talk about the leaders and more reports on the causes. What’s going on there now?” the person wrote.
— CCTVNEWS (@cctvnews) December 21, 2015