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Students in Landslide-hit SW China Region Resume Most Classes

Most schools in the Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan Province have resumed classes, after landslides and mud-rock flows hit the area, local education authorities said on Wednesday.

Deadly landslides and mud-rock flows triggered by torrential rain over the weekend killed two students and left one seriously injured, with 10 others missing, said Li Yingrong, head of the prefectural education bureau office. These students are all primary and middle school students.

Li said that 21,489 students and 1,447 teachers at 237 schools in the prefecture were affected, and 19 schools halted classes or were evacuated, as more than 73,000 square meters of school buildings collapsed.

The prefectural government dispatched six special workgroups on Sunday to rescue and provide medical care to students and teachers, move them to safety and deal with potential dangers and secondary disasters.

Li said the students of two primary schools, one badly damaged and the other in a landslide area, have been re-assigned to a nearby village and a middle school where they will resume classes. Other students are having a temporary vacation as they wait for space in interim school buildings and borrowed classrooms.

Yunnan has so far reported 40 deaths and 43 people missing with another 1.3 million affected by the landslides and mud-rock flows. Chuxiong, the hardest-hit area, reported 24 deaths and 42 people missing.

(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2008)

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