The effects from the massive mudslides in northwest China over the weekend are far from over, and more rain is expected to hit the area on Friday. The death toll from the catastrophe continues to climb as workers struggle to rescue or find the missing. As of Thursday night, the deaths were at an alarming 1,144, and there were still 600 people missing, according to Xinhua news.
But the residents of the area say that the numbers are much higher.
The rain continues to fall at a steady pace, which hinders those trying to provide relief, and enhances fears among people of further mudslides. Heavy rains provoked the mudslides to begin with. Because of all the rain, the side of a mountain became saturated and the top soil slid downhill. Homes were dislodged, often being ripped apart as the slide continued. Other homes were buried in the mud. The area that the mudslide buried is three to four stories deep in mud and rock.
With damaged healthcare facilities and no reliable water resources, disease is a major concern for the area. Especially given that the heat will cause bodies and animals to decay under the mud.