Over 100 people feared buried by southwest China landslide

Heavy rain triggered the landslide, authorities said, although further light showers expected today and Monday were not expected to affect search efforts, CCTV reported.

The landslide was apparently triggered by a mild natural disaster in the area, an expert told state-run CGTN.

Qiao Dashi, the baby's father, said he had woken up after 5am to change his crying son's diaper when he "heard a big noise coming from the back".

A family of three emerged alive from the rubble Saturday, the Mao County government said on its official Weibo page.

One local police commander, Chen Tiebo, said there might have been as many as 200 people in the village, China Central Television said.

There are 109 people still missing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for an all-out rescue effort, and CCTV reported that around 500 rescuers were heading to the area.

Xiao Chunyan and Qiao Dashuai, both 26, were rescued along with their 38-day-old baby boy after the massive landslide struck Xinmo village just before 6am, burying more than 110 people and 62 households.

It added that three persons belonging to the same family were pulled out five hours after being buried by the landslide without serious injuries, though another member remains trapped under the debris.

Photos showed an area buried by earth and massive rocks.

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

Landslides' causes are complicated and could include rain and unstable rock masses, an official from China's Ministry of Land and Resources told CCTV. "We felt that something bad was happening and immediately rushed to the door, but the door was blocked by mud and rocks".

Local officials said some 8m cubic metres (282m cubic ft) of rock had been dislodged and roads had been closed to all traffic except emergency services.

"It's the biggest landslide to hit this area since the Wenchuan quake", Wang Yongbo, an official leading one of the rescue efforts, told CCTV.

The landslide fell around 6 a.m. local time, Xinhua says, and also blocked a section of a nearby river and buried about a mile of a road.

An enormous quake in 2008 rippled across much of Sichuan province and nearby areas, leaving about 90,000 people dead or missing and presumed dead. A landslide in the province in 2013 buried about 40 people; another in 2014 killed at least 11 people.

Rescuers have retrieved fifteen bodies after a huge landslide engulfed a village in China's Sichuan Province.

  • Leroy Wright