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China’s landslide: Dozens of houses destroyed, over 100 people buried beneath rubble

China’s landslide: Dozens of houses destroyed, over 100 people buried beneath rubble

Massive search efforts are underway in China’s Sichuan Province after a landslide destroyed dozens of houses and reportedly left more than 100 people buried beneath the rubble.

Torrential rain in Maoxian County triggered a large landslide that destroyed around 46 homes in Xinmo Village, Xinhua reported, citing the provincial government.

However, AP cited a rescue official as saying that the number of houses thought to be destroyed has reached 62.

At least 141 people are feared to be trapped under the dirt and debris.

The disaster happened in the Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and struck at around 6:00am local time.

“We heard a strange noise at the back of our house, and it was rather loud,” Qiao Dashuai, a local resident, told CCTV, as cited by AP.

“Wind was coming into the room so I wanted to close the door. When we came out, water flow swept us away instantly,” Qiao said.

Some 400 rescuers, including police, have been dispatched to the site, Tang Limin, a spokesperson for Sichuan’s provincial government, told Xinhua.

Some three million cubic meters of earth and rock slid down the mountain, Wang Yongbo, a local rescue official, told CCTV broadcaster.

“It’s the biggest landslide to hit this area since the Wenchuan earthquake,” Wang Yongbo said, referring to the powerful 7.9 earthquake that struck the province in May 2008, killing some 90,000 people.

Authorities mobilized manpower and deployed resources, including excavation equipment, to save the trapped villagers.

The landslide has also blocked about a two-kilometer section of a local river course.

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