China floods: 100,000 evacuated as waters reach Giant Buddha statue

China floods: 100,000 evacuated as waters reach Giant Buddha statue

  • Flooding in Sichuan province rises over feet of Leshan Giant Buddha for first time since 1949

Floods on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river in south-west China have forced authorities to evacuate more than 100,000 people and threatened a 1,200-year-old world heritage site.

Staff, police and volunteers used sandbags to try to protect the 71-metre (233ft) Leshan Giant Buddha, a Unesco world heritage site in the south-west Sichuan province, as muddy flood water rose over its toes for the first time since 1949, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

However, the worst of the flooding appeared to be over in Sichuan by Wednesday when the emergency level was lowered and the toes of a famous Buddhist statue re-emerged as waters receded.

Five people were missing in neighbouring Yunnan province in the south-west after a landslide destroyed two houses, the official People’s Daily newspaper said.