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Hopes fade of finding more China landslide survivors

26 Juin 2017

Rescuers dug through earth and rocks for a second day today in an increasingly bleak search for some 118 people still missing after their village in southwest China vanished under a huge landslide.

Authorities at the scene said on Sunday that 10 bodies had been confirmed recovered.

As of last night, only three people - a couple and their month-old baby - had been rescued from the disaster site.

The news agency said the regional government had approved about $730,000-worth of rescue funding.

"We won't give up as long as there is a slim of chance", said one rescuer. The Maoxian, or Mao county, government said earlier that six people died and 112 people were missing.

"Every single family has been impacted by the landslide, it's awful", said Sun Danxian, from a neighbouring village who was walking through the site.

Dozens of homes were buried when the landslide hit Xinmo village in Mao County, Aba Prefecture Saturday morning that experts said was caused by torrential rain and possible geological damage from a 2008 quake.

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The provincial government has launched the highest level of disaster relief response and sent rescue teams to the site.

Officials have pulled 15 bodies from the avalanche of rocks that crashed into 62 homes in Xinmo, a once picturesque mountain village nestled by a river in Sichuan province.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in offering his condolences, said that the United Nations was prepared to offer any support. Rescuers with sniffer dogs stand near an earthmoving equipment digging at the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Maoxian County in southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Sunday, June 25, 2017.

"They told us we could go back yesterday morning but they kept delaying and delaying giving us all kinds of excuses".

"Initial accounts from villagers nearby said there had been rain in the area, but some said it was not very heavy and there was no sign of an impending landslide", NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Shanghai.

Heavy rains in Yongshun county in central Hunan province caused a house to collapse last Friday, burying two children, aged seven and five.

"I ran outside and felt this strong wind and saw water rushing towards us", he said.

Hopes fade of finding more China landslide survivors