China to probe all waste sites after landslide

BEIJING: China's southern province of Guangdong, one of the country's biggest industrial bases, will check all construction waste sites in the wake of a deadly landslide to ensure none are in dangerous locations or poorly managed, state media said on Sunday.

The December 20 landslide in the Guangdong boom town of Shenzhen buried more than 30 buildings in an industrial park and has left around 70 people missing, with only a handful of bodies found so far.

The central government on Friday labelled the landslide a man-made disaster, and is looking at whether criminal malpractice is to blame.

The Guangdong government said there were many problems with the management of building waste sites, including safety issues, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Sites found operating in "forbidden zones" such as close to hospitals, residential neighbourhoods, kindergartens and rail lines will need to be moved immediately, with cities responsible for moving them, Xinhua added.

Those found responsible for illegal or poorly managed sites will be prosecuted, while efforts need to be made to speed up development of a risk management system, it said.

The company managing the dump site in Shenzhen that had the landslide, Yixianglong, was urged to stop work four days before the disaster, an executive with a government-appointed monitoring agency said on Thursday.

Xinhua earlier reported the dump was being used 10 months after it was supposed to have stopped taking waste, earning Yixianglong some 7.5 million yuan ($1.16 million) in fees.