Asia-Pacific

Scores buried by landslide in south-west China

Grab from China state TV showing rescue workers in Dazhai village
Image caption Heavy rain is hampering the rescue effort, local officials say

At least 100 people are feared to be buried or trapped after a landslide triggered by torrential rain in south-west China, state media reported.

The landslide happened at 1430 local time, and engulfed a number of homes in Dazhai village in Guizhou Province.

Officials said rescue work was being hampered by continued heavy rain.

Southern and eastern China have been hit by flooding this month, with at least 235 killed and more than 100 missing.

An estimated 2.4 million people have been displaced.

At least 107 people were trapped or buried, a local official told Xinhua news agency.

Dazhai village had experienced torrential rain in the days before the landslide.

Villager Cen Chaoyang told Xinhua that he had rushed out of his house when he heard the landslide and managed to escape.

"I called the others to flee. But it was too late. I saw some people behind me being buried," Mr Cen said.

China's Premier Wen Jiabao said rescuers should do all they could to dig out those trapped.

However, it is still raining heavily and rescuers have a 5km (3-mile) hike to reach the site, which is inaccessible by road.

It is feared the death toll could rise.

Power cuts

Nearly 69 million people across China have been affected by the heavy rains, officials said on Sunday.

The government has ordered the setting-up of a rescue and relief centre to co-ordinate the emergency response.

More than 15,000 soldiers have been deployed to aid rescue operations.

The disaster has led to power cuts, collapsed reservoirs and widespread damage to roads. Millions are without drinking water supplies.

The floods are among the worst in southern China since 1998, when more than 3,600 people were killed and more than 20 million were displaced, Xinhua reports.

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