28-year-old Guangdong Province rescue team member dies in landslide while responding to emergency

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Liu Yongjia

25th April 2024 – (Shaoguan City) A young emergency responder, Liu Yongjia, lost his life while on duty during a devastating landslide incident at  Jiangwan Town in Shaoguan City, Guangdong Province. Liu, who was merely 28 years old, was part of the local emergency management team actively involved in combating the flooding caused by record-breaking rainfall.

Starting on 19th April, Shaoguan City was battered by an intense series of rains, with Jiangwan Town experiencing a staggering 127.4mm of rainfall within a single hour at the old power station reservoir. This unprecedented downpour prompted the immediate mobilization of the town’s emergency crew, of which Liu was a crucial member.

Liu, despite being on vacation, responded promptly to the call to duty on the morning of 20th April. He joined his team at the town’s emergency office and proceeded to the overwater bridge area to fortify it with sandbags to prevent further flooding into the town. However, disaster struck at 9.05am while he was assisting with these efforts. Liu received a distress call about a house collapse in the Wangwu Dam village area. While reporting to his supervisor and heading towards the site to help evacuate the residents, a sudden landslide occurred near the overwater bridge. Liu was tragically buried by the deluge of mud and debris.

The rescue operation faced daunting weather conditions, and it was not until the evening of April 21st that the rescuers were able to locate and retrieve Liu’s body. His untimely demise has left the community in mourning and highlighted the perils faced by those on the front lines of disaster response.

Liu Yongjia had been a dedicated member of the Jiangwan Town emergency team since October 2019. Known for his loyalty, honesty, and diligent work ethic, Liu was one of the youngest and most vital members of the team. He was often at the forefront during various emergency operations and was well-regarded by his peers and the local community for his readiness to assist those in need.

In addition to the tragic loss of Liu, the recent storms have led to numerous casualties and injuries in Jiangwan Town. Shaoguan’s Yuebei People’s Hospital reported that all of the injured, ranging from a young child of 1 year and 10 months to an elderly person aged 66, were admitted for treatment on 21st April. Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening.