Hope is starting to fade for the 93 people still missing after a landslide destroyed over 40 homes in the Chinese village of Xinmo in Maoxian County, Sichuan Province.
Residents are becoming more and more agitated as government officials refuse to give answers on rebuilding—or even when people can return to their homes. One man from Xinmo villaged protested, “They told us a central government official was going to come to visit us. He showed up and didn’t even bother to speak to us.”
The government was clearly aware of the risks to villagers. One villager said, “The government knows it’s dangerous to live in these kinds of villages and yet they do nothing.” State media even reported that the section of the mountain that collapsed had been weakened by the 2008 earthquake. The government official protested that it was very difficult to persuade the residents to move with only “hypothesis and predictions.”
Destructive landslides like these are nothing new in China. Over 1,000 people died in a landslide in Zhouqu in 2010. In 2015, 12 people died in Shenzhen in a similar incident.