Over 100 people feared buried by southwest China landslide

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Over 100 people feared buried by southwest China landslide

Rescue efforts at the scene of a landslide that flattened a village in southwest China have been called off after authorities warned of the risk of more land collapsing.

More than 120 people were buried by a landslide that caused huge rocks and a mass of earth to come crashing into their homes in a mountain village in southwestern China early Saturday, officials said.

Twenty-five people have been confirmed dead so far after another 10 bodies were recovered by early afternoon on Sunday in Xinmo village in Maoxian county.

State broadcaster CCTV was told by local police that the landslide has been triggered due to the recent heavy rains in the region.

Only three survivors - a couple and their 1-month-old baby - have been found.

The village is known locally for tourism and Chinese reports said it was unclear if tourists were among the people buried by the landslide.

With danger of more landslides, authorities have been restricting access to the disaster zone, but hundreds of people were allowed back on Monday.

The state news agency cited geological experts as saying that the chances of anyone surviving under the rubble were slim.

"We pulled out two people but they were already dead".

Wu's wife, Zhang Xiaohong, said that they often sleep in other villages because of fear of landslides but can't afford to move to the safer capital of Mao county, where Xinmo is located.

Tang has relatives in Xinmo, but she said little could be done at this point. He said they struggled against the flood until they met medical workers who took them to a hospital.

In total, 142 tourists were visiting the area and they are all alive, said Xu Zhiwen, executive deputy governor of the prefecture.

In an interview with the publication on Saturday, local publicity department officials described the disaster site as compact, making it hard to expand the scale of the rescue operation.

United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said Saturday that he was saddened to learn of the loss of life and devastation caused by landslides in China's Sichuan province.

"I arrived at the site at 7.30am and found that the whole area was buried by the landslide", said He Dajun, a worker with Maoxian county power company. Some of it fell from as high as 1.6 kilometers (1 mile).

Sichuan province is prone to earthquakes, including a 8.0 magnitude tremor in central Sichuan's Wenchuan county in 2008 that killed almost 70,000 people.

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