China landslide rescue operation continues for 118 still missing; hopes fade


Thousands of workers are working around the clock in the search and rescue effort.

Xinmo residents were farmers who grew corn, peppercorn and potatoes, she said, though some had opened guest houses for tourists. Qiao Dashuai, 26, said he and his wife awoke to cries from their 1-month-old son around 5:30 a.m.

A smaller, second landslide caused huge rocks to fall onto the village, which made it more hard for heavy machinery to get to the scene, according to reports.

Xu Zhiwen, the prefecture's deputy governor, said there had been 142 tourists visiting the village on Friday but that none of them were buried.

"Just after we changed the diaper for the baby, we heard a big bang outside and the light went out", the husband said.

Heavy rain is thought to have triggered the landslide, causing the top section of a mountain to loosen, sending boulders and rocks crashing down onto the village below at about 06:00 local time on Saturday (22:00 GMT on Friday). "We felt that something bad was happening and immediately rushed to the door, but the door was blocked by mud and rocks". He said they struggled against the flood of water until they met medical workers who took them to a hospital.

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"Relatives of the missing and those suffering losses in the disaster will be given appropriate care", Xi said. The mountainous region has been prone to geological disasters.

"It's the biggest landslide in this area since the Wenchuan quake", said Wang Yongbo, one of the officials in charge of rescue efforts, referring to the disaster that killed 87,000 people in 2008 in a town in Sichuan.

A droopy-eyed white dog apparently looking for its owner has been spotted in the rubble of a landslide that buried a village in southwest China, a state broadcaster said on Sunday.

Scientist He Siming told the state-run Beijing News that the 2008 quake could have done structural damage to the mountains flanking Xinmo.

Rescuers had pulled out at least three people earlier Saturday, Xinhua reported. In 1933, 6,800 people died in landslides triggered by an quake and 2,500 more were killed when one of the landslides caused a dam to fail.