At least three people have been killed when a landslide struck Mawo Village in Bijie Prefecture, Guizhou Province in southwest China, at about 12.50 pm local time (4.50 am GMT) on Saturday 27 April 2013. A further five people are missing, with rescue attempts ongoing. This is the latest in a string of such events in the province, which have taken at least nine lives this month.
Ongoing rescue attempts in Mawo Village. Xinhua.
Guizhou Province is largely comprised of blocky limestone hills, uplifted by the collision between India and Asia during the Tertiary period. The area has a monsoonal climate, with heavy seasonal rains which start in April, reach a peak in July and August, and tapir out in October. Historically the hills were covered by subtropical broadleaved forest, but, despite the area being considered to be a high conservation priority with a number of highly protected species and internationally recognised reserves, the province has been hit heavily by deforestation, making it vulnerable to landslide events as soils are washed of the underlying limestone karst.
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