Chinese Landslide Leaves 93 Missing

Rescue workers in China are attempting to recover bodies Sunday following the deadly landslide in the southwestern province of Sichuan. 

Officials say 93 people remain missing after a huge landslide Saturday buried the mountain village of Xinmo in Mao county, Chinese authorities said.

Three people, a couple and their baby were found alive immediately after the wall of rock and debris destroyed at least 40 houses, but no other survivors have been found.  Fifteen bodies have been recovered.

More than 3,000 people — police, soldiers and civilians — are participating in the rescue efforts, according to officials, and have been working nonstop to search through the rocks and rubble for survivors.

Rescuers and local residents used ropes to move a boulder while dozens of others, aided by dogs to sniff out humans, searched the rubble for survivors, according to videos posted online by the Maoxian government and state broadcaster CCTV.

Bulldozers and heavy diggers also have been deployed to remove boulders, while villagers and soldiers lifted rocks with their bare hands. Rescuers brought spotlights to continue the search after sunset.

“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.

Authorities say the landslide was caused by torrential rain, and the cascading debris of mud and rocks blocked a 2-kilometer stretch of a river and a 1.6-kilometer section of a road, according to local officials.

Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly after heavy rains.

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