Around 100 People Feared Buried by Landslide in Southwestern China

The mudslide, caused by heavy rains that have been affecting most of the country for days, has made about 40 homes collapsed and left more than 100 residents buried, reported the official CCTV television network.

"We won't give up as long as there is a slim of chance", the agency quoted an unidentified searcher as saying.

The names of the missing were posted on government websites, it said.

A couple and their two-month-old baby were found alive in the hours after the massive landslide crashed down on the village of Xinmo, in the south-west province of Sichuan as dawn broke on Saturday.

Mr Dashuai, who believes the baby saved his family's life, said: 'We heard a odd noise at the back of our house, and it was rather loud.

Water thick with mud was seen flowing over the site. The child's father, Qiao Dashuai, said he got up to comfort the infant and realized there was a landslide coming down.

The Sichuan government has dispatched more than "500 rescuers with 23 sniffer dogs and 16 life detectors" for search and rescue efforts, according Xinhua.

At least 12 people were killed in January when a landslide smashed into a hotel in central Hubei province.

Mao county is home to about 110,000 people.

The early morning landslide, which officials believe was triggered by heavy rain, blocked a 2km stretch of river and 1.6km of a road, according to state media.

According to the provincial government, 282 million cubic feet - more than 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools - of earth and rock fell from the mountain onto the town.

Following the landslide, China upgraded its geological disaster alert to the second highest level.

More than 140 people are feared buried in a landslide in Maoxian County of China's Sichuan Province.

Some 400 people from the police, military and fire services are reported to be taking part in the rescue efforts.

Emergency personnel search for survivors. Xinmo is known locally for tourism, but it is unclear whether any visitors might have been caught up in the landslide.

Zhang Liancheng, who lives in a nearby village, said the landslide buried eight members of his family.

Emergency response measures have been activated and 780 rescue workers are on the scene, the broadcaster said.

  • Arturo Norris