Earthquakes behind China landslide that killed 46 - expert

BEIJING Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:13am IST

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BEIJING (Reuters) - A landslide in southwest China that killed 46 people was partly caused by an earthquake that hit the region four months ago, a geological expert said on Saturday.

Unstable soil and steep slopes also contributed to Friday's landslide in Yunnan province, the state-run news agency Xinhua quoted Jiang Xingwu as saying.

Earthquakes struck Yiliang county in Yunnan province in September, contributing to the instability of the terrain, said Jiang, who heads a group of geological disaster prevention experts that is part of Yunnan's Land and Resources Bureau.

The victims of the landslide in Gaopo village, about 550 km (340 miles) northeast of Kunming, comprised 27 adults and 19 children, Xinhua said.

The bodies of the final two victims were recovered on Saturday, according to Xinhua. Earlier media reports said two people had been taken to hospital.

More than a thousand rescue workers had worked to find survivors, Xinhua said.

Earthquakes and landslides are common in China, and with many buildings in towns and cities shoddily built, such disasters can have catastrophic results.

An earthquake in Sichuan province in southwest China in 2008 killed at least 87,000 people. (Reporting by Terril Yue Jones; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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