China landslide leaves at least 140 missing in Sichuan


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Media captionThe rescue team has been searching for missing people

More than 140 people are feared buried in a landslide in Sichuan province in south-western China, state media say.

About 40 homes were destroyed in Xinmo village in Maoxian county, after the side of a mountain collapsed at about 06:00 local time (22:00 GMT Friday).

Rescue teams are frantically searching for survivors trapped beneath rocks.

Pictures posted by the People’s Daily newspaper show bulldozers moving earth and large boulders as the rescue effort continues.

A couple and a baby were rescued and taken to hospital after teams of workers used ropes to move large rocks while dozens of others searched the rubble, AFP news agency reports, citing local authorities.

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Rescue workers are frantically searching for survivors feared buried beneath rocks

The landslide blocked a two-kilometre (1.2-mile) stretch of a river, Xinhua news agency reports, citing local officials.

Local police told state broadcaster CCTV the landslide had been triggered by recent heavy rains in the region, adding that the situation was made worse by a lack of vegetation in the area.

Landslides are a regular danger in mountainous regions of China, especially during heavy rains.

In 2008, 87,000 people were killed when an earthquake struck Wenchuan county in Sichuan province. In Maoxian county, 37 tourists were killed when their coach was buried in a landslide caused by the earthquake.

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