Around 100 people are feared buried after a landslide smashed through their village in southwest China’s Sichuan Province early on Saturday, local officials said, as they launched an emergency rescue operation.
Some 40 homes in the village of Xinmo were swallowed by the cascading debris after the side of a mountain collapsed, blocking a two kilometre stretch of river, according to a statement from the Maoxian government news office.
An emergency response “to the first class catastrophic geological disaster” is under way, the statement said, adding that the full extent of the landslide was at yet unclear.
A report from the state news agency Xinhua said that “part of a mountain” in the Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba had collapsed.
Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly at times of heavy rains.
At least 12 people were killed in January when a landslide smashed into a hotel in central Hubei province.
In October landslides battered eastern China in the wake of torrential rains brought by Typhoon Megi, causing widespread damage and killing at least eight.