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8 dead, 38 missing after Sichuan landslides

Landslides triggered by heavy rain have killed eight people and left 38 others missing in one of the areas hardest hit by the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province, state media said Wednesday (USA TODAY).

According to an article printed in the New York Times, it stated that the Chinese government assembled 1,550 rescuers equipped with 160 bulldozers, excavators and other machines to comb through the sludge for survivors.

Local authorities from Beichuan county said that torrential rain since Monday has also triggered flash floods and cave-ins, injuring more than 300 people, the official Xinhua News Agency reported (New York Times). Another 6,500 people were stranded and in dire need of help, rescue officials said.

Beichuan was one of the areas almost completely flattened during the massive earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people and left another 18,000 missing.

Heavy downpours have been battering the area since Monday, causing more than 2,200 homes to collapse and damaging another 8,500, the report said. Direct economic losses were estimated at nearly $5.87 million, Xinhua said (USA TODAY).