UN chief condoles loss of lives in China landslide

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Pic/AFP
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Pic/AFP

United Nations UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he is saddened to learn of the death and devastation caused by landslides in China's Sichuan Province.

Rescuers have retrieved 15 bodies from the debris till Saturday night, the rescue headquarters in the south-western province said. Over 120 people are said to be missing.

"The Secretary-General salutes the efforts of the national relief and recovery teams. The United Nations stands ready to support the authorities in any way it can if needed," said a UN statement on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The search and rescue operation is going on overnight, with thousands of rescuers combing the area with life detectors and sniffer dogs. New signs of life are yet to be found.

"The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the people and Government of the People's Republic of China and wishes those injured a speedy recovery," the statement added.

The landslide from a high part of a mountain in Aba prefecture hit Xinmo village in Maoxian County early Saturday morning, blocking a 2-km section of river and burying 1,600 meters of road.

The provincial government has launched the highest level of disaster relief response.

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