Officials say over 120 buried in China landslide

Posted June 25, 2017

At least 141 people and 46 homes were buried, the People's Daily said, citing a Maoxian county government spokesman.

About 40 homes were destroyed in Xinmo village, Maoxian county, after the side of a mountain collapsed. Some of them were reportedly found dead.

In 2008, almost 70,000 people died when an 8.0 magnitude tremor hit Sichuan's Wenchuan County.

"The government believes that the Chinese government and people could overcome the difficulties and hopes that speedy rescue and rebuilding could take place very soon", it said. Officials said 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of road were buried in the disaster.

"I arrived at the site at 7:30 a.m. and found that the whole area was buried by the landslide", said He Dajun, a worker with Maoxian County Power Company. At least 12 people were killed in January when a landslide crushed a hotel in central Hubei province.

Police team leader Wang Yongbo told CCTV a smaller second landslide caused huge rocks to fall onto the village, which has made it more hard for heavy machinery to get to the scene.

More than 100 people living close to the landslide were being evacuated, Xinhua reported.

In 1933 6,800 people died in landslides triggered by an natural disaster and a further 2,500 were killed when a dam caused by one of the landslides failed.

The landslide that hit Xinmo village of Mao county on Saturday.

An emergency response "to the first class catastrophic geological disaster" is under way, the local government's statement said, adding that the full extent of the landslide was at yet unclear. An estimated 18 million cubic meters of earth mass fell some 1,600 meters, engulfing Xinmo Village.

Local police told the state broadcaster 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.

Initial accounts from villagers and nearby residents said there had been rain in the area, but some said it was not very heavy and there were no signs of the impending landslide.

Some 400 people from the police, military and fire services are reported to be taking part in the rescue efforts. Rubble slid 800 metres (half a mile) down a steep slope to block a two-kilometre stretch of river and 1.6 kilometres of road, official state news agency Xinhua said.It said more than a thousand were involved in the rescue effort, including more than a hundred medical staff.