China landslide leaves at least 140 missing in Sichuan

Media captionThe rescue team has been searching for missing people

More than 140 people are feared buried in a landslide in Sichuan province in south-western China, state media say.

About 40 homes were destroyed in Xinmo village in Maoxian county, after the side of a mountain collapsed at about 06:00 local time (22:00 GMT Friday).

Rescue teams are frantically searching for survivors trapped beneath rocks.

Pictures posted by the People’s Daily newspaper show bulldozers moving earth and large boulders as the rescue effort continues.

A couple and a baby were rescued and taken to hospital after teams of workers used ropes to move large rocks while dozens of others searched the rubble, AFP news agency reports, citing local authorities.

People search for survivors following a landslide in Xinmo Village in Maoxian county, 24 June 2017
 workers are frantically searching for survivors feared buried beneath rocks
A huge landslide has buried more than 100 villagers in Sichuan, southwest China, 24 June 2017 captionBulldozers were used to help move large boulders after homes were destroyed
Rescue workers and medical staff search for survivors at landslide site in Xinmo village in Sichuan, southwest China, 24 June 2017captionMedical staff joined the search in the hope of assisting any survivors

The landslide blocked a two-kilometre (1.2-mile) stretch of a river, Xinhua news agency reports, citing local officials.

Local police told state broadcaster CCTV the landslide had been triggered by recent heavy rains in the region and that the situation was made worse by a lack of vegetation in the area.

“There are several tonnes of rock,” police captain Chen Tiebo told the broadcaster, adding: “It’s a seismic area here.”

Roads in the county were closed on Saturday to all traffic except emergency services, the news agency said.

Media captionBBC Weather’s Helen Willetts looks at the forecast for southern China after the recent devastating landslides.

Landslides are a regular danger in mountainous regions of China, especially during heavy rains.

In 2008, 87,000 people were killed when an earthquake struck Wenchuan county in Sichuan province. In Maoxian county, 37 tourists were killed when their coach was buried in a landslide caused by the earthquake.



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