MMore than 1,000 soldiers and firefighters were deployed for rescue operations, which continue after more than two hundred people have been removed from the area.
Although 20 people “without signs of life” have already been found, in total, 44 people were buried.
Official sources also reported that they managed to contact three of the people believed to be missing, but who were not in the area of the incident, also specifying that two people were treated for injuries in hospitals and that 918 residents were relocated after the accident.
The incident occurred at 5:51 am on Monday (9:51 pm on Sunday in Lisbon) in the village of Zhenxiong, located in the north of the region, and affected around 18 houses in the lower area between two mountains.
“We were sleeping at that time, it was early in the morning and it was still dark. Suddenly, there was a loud noise and the ground shook. It felt like a big earthquake,” said a local resident, quoted by local newspaper Jimu News.
The region recorded heavy snowfall overnight on Sunday and, although the intensity is lower, the precipitation has not yet decreased, with temperatures hovering around zero degrees Celsius.
According to a preliminary investigation cited by Xinhua, the collapsed land mass was about 100 meters wide, 60 meters high and had an average thickness of six meters.
The condition of roads leading to the affected area, frozen at dawn, is hampering relief efforts, said an official from the local disaster management office.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for an “all-out effort” to search for and rescue the trapped people, Xinhua said.
The landslide occurred just over a month after the strongest earthquake in recent years hit northwestern China, in a remote region between the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. At least 149 people died in the earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Ritcher scale, recorded on December 18.
Around 1,000 people were injured and more than 14,000 homes were destroyed, following the deadliest earthquake in the last nine years in China.
Read Also: Death toll caused by land collapse in China rises to 11
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