China landslide death toll rises to 36 with 15 still missing

Dozens die each year in landslides caused by jade mining. Representative image. File Photo: PTI.

The death toll in a landslide which buried a village in southwest China rose to 36, state broadcaster CCTV said on Sunday (July 28), with 15 still missing days after the disaster struck.

The state-run Peoples Daily said rescue work is ongoing at the site in Shuicheng county, Guizhou province, where a thick torrent of mud buried 22 houses in the landslide on Tuesday. CCTV broadcast footage of rescue workers trying to reach survivors through a huge mound of earth, and excavators digging through the collapsed hill. Two children and a mother with a baby were among those dead.

Official news agency Xinhua said on Saturday (July 27) night that 40 people had been rescued from the site, according to the local emergency rescue command. Xinhua said a local school had been set up as an emergency medical and rescue centre, with “multiple rescue teams and experts” still searching for those missing.

The government has earmarked 30 million yuan ($4.35 million) for search and rescue efforts in the province, Xinhua reported, as well as the relocation of victims. Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly after heavy rain, and the country has suffered severe flooding this year. In August 2017 at least 30 people were killed in two separate landslides in the same rural province of Guizhou.