7 dead, 24 missing as rain batters southwest China

CHENGDU, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Seven people have died and 24 are missing after heavy downpours on Tuesday battered Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province, local authorities said Wednesday.


A bridge in Miansi on the Dujiangyan-Wenchuan highway is damaged by mud and debris in Tuesday's downpours. (Photo: Xinhua)

As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, rain-triggered disasters had affected 17 townships in the prefecture, injuring six people, including three with severe injuries, according to the prefectural emergency management bureau.

More than 34,000 tourists have been evacuated from Wenchuan County, which was hit by multiple mudslides following heavy rainfall. The evacuation of over 13,000 tourists in the county is underway.

Local authorities are also making efforts to evacuate more than 12,000 tourists trapped in Wolong special administrative zone in Wenchuan.

By 0:15 a.m. Wednesday, power supplies and emergency communication had returned to the heavily-hit Gengda Township in Wolong, but water supplies remained disrupted.

Search and rescue efforts are still underway.