Hopes fade in China for 93 missing in landslide

"Some geologists have questioned whether the quake may have caused the slope to become unstable", she said.

On Sunday, about 3,000 people were searching for survivors.

Emergency workers have been digging through earth and rocks for a second day, with rescue dogs scouring the debris for some 118 people who remain unaccounted for. The estimates were later lowered and the government posted the names of missing people online Sunday, Xinhua reported.

Twenty-five people have been confirmed dead so far after another 10 bodies were recovered by early afternoon on Sunday in Xinmo village in Maoxian county. Geologists told the publication that the chances of finding survivors under the rubble were slim. But after the landslide, the village was reduced to a vast area of rubble.

Another 110 people living nearby in another part of the village were being evacuated to a township school last night, fearing there might be rain and secondary disasters.

In an interview with the publication on Saturday, local publicity department officials described the disaster site as compact, making it hard to expand the scale of the rescue operation.

Tang has relatives in Xinmo, but she said little could be done at this point. Some of it fell from as high as 1.6km.

Xu Zhiwen, the prefecture's deputy governor, said there had been 142 tourists visiting the village on Friday but none of them were buried. "My wife and I climbed over, took the baby and got out", he told state broadcaster CCTV from his hospital bed.

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

Rescue worker Wu Youheng, who lives in a neighbouring village, said they weren't able to pull anyone out alive.

It buried 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) of road and blocked a 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) section of a river as it completely wiped away the village, which was once home to 46 families comprising more than 100 people.

Qiao said his family was swept away by water as part of a mountain collapsed.

Authorities say that heavy rain is responsible for the landslides, with light showers expected to continue during Sunday's search.

Al Jazeera's Florence Loi, reporting from a location close to the Xinmo village, said the area had been struck by a massive natural disaster in 2008, which killed almost 90,000 people.

  • Joanne Flowers