China

China landslide: 15 dead, over 100 missing in Sichuan

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Media captionThe rescue team has been searching for missing people

The bodies of 15 people have been found after a landslide in Sichuan province in south-western China left more than 120 people missing, 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 dislodged by heavy rainfall.

President Xi Jinping urged rescuers to "spare no effort".

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

Qiao Dashuai told CCTV the baby had woken them and when they came to the door of their home they were swept away by water. He said his parents and other relatives were still missing.

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Image caption Rescue workers are frantically searching for survivors feared buried beneath rocks
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Bulldozers were used to help move large boulders after homes were destroyed
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Medical staff joined the search in the hope of assisting any survivors

An earlier toll of 141 missing people has now been revised down by state media.

The landslide blocked a 2km (1.2-mile) stretch of a river, Xinhua news agency reported.

Local police told state broadcaster CCTV a lack of vegetation in the area had made the landslide worse.

Local officials said some 8m cu m (282m cu ft) of rock had been dislodged.

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

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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 itself, 37 tourists were killed when their coach was buried in a landslide caused by the earthquake.

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