China landslide: 15 bodies recovered, over 100 still missing
Rescuers with lights on their helmets and sniffer dogs searched for people through the night as lamps illuminated the grey rubble, according to images on state media. Photograph: (AFP)
Rescuers have recovered at least 15 bodies from the rubble of a landslide from a village in southwest China.
118 people are still missing after an avalanche of rocks crashed into 62 homes in Xinmo in Sichuan province early Saturday. Rescuers with lights on their helmets and sniffer dogs searched for people through the night.
Around 3,000 rescue workers were taking part in the search for the second day on Sunday, China’s official Xinhua news agency said.
Only three survivors -- a couple and their one-month-old baby -- have been found officials said.
Xinhua cited geological experts at the site as saying the chance of finding any survivors "was really slim".
The landslide blocked a two-kilometre (one-mile) stretch of river and 1.6 kilometre of road. It was triggered by heavy rains in the region in recent days.
Tao Jian, director of the local weather service, told CCTV that the 2008 earthquake had "weakened the mountain" and that even a small amount of rain could provoke a geological catastrophe.
"It's the biggest landslide in this area since the Wenchuan earthquake," 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.
More than 100 people living close to the landslide were being evacuated, Xinhua reported.
At least 12 people were killed in January when a landslide crushed a hotel in central Hubei province.