Mudslides in Sichuan Block National Highway

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Cave-ins occurred at several locations along a highway in Sichuan Province. It links the town of Yingxiu to the Wolong National Natural Reserve. Mudslides are to blame, triggered by heavy downpours.

Traffic along Sichuan Provincial Highway 303 was completely halted, with dozens of local residents and tourists stranded.

Water from the Yuzixi River began to rise Monday morning, practically submerging this bridge. The river is usually knee deep here in the summer.

Dozens of people were stranded at a mountainous area about four miles away from the town of Yinxiu.

A section of the highway and a nearby residential area have all been flooded.

And some additional cave-ins occurred on a section of National Highway 213, which links Sichuan with Gansu Province to the north and Yunnan Province to the south.

Several people came down from near the blocked highway.

"The road has been blocked up and there is no access at all. We got over by climbing down the protecting fence and along a wire cable down the mountain."

"Are there other people trapped?"

"Yes, there are."

"How many are there?"

"Quite a lot, I think."

Four people have been killed and eight missing in floods and mudslides by Monday afternoon, according to Sichuan authorities.

More than 300-thousand people have been affected over the last three days in various parts of Sichuan, according to officials.