Harried officials said rescuers were searching for the bodies of 49 people feared killed in a huge rockslide even as another 11 people died in a heavy rainstorm in Bazhong city of Sichuan province.
“Most of the victims were killed in landslides or when their houses collapsed,” said a Chinese official.
State media, Xinhua reported that 3,240 houses have collapsed while another 11,000 buildings were in dangerous condition.
Lashed by torrential rains, China has been adrift on misery and chaos with swollen rivers flooding large areas. Adding to the woes has been intermittent landslides triggered by the unrelenting rains.
Officials said rescuers were continuing to search for the bodies of 49 people trapped by a huge rockslide in the Danba district.
The rockslide was caused when a hillside collapsed following heavy rain. Officials said they had no hopes of finding any survivors.
‘Most of the victims were killed in landslides or when their houses collapsed.’
— a Chinese official.
“Now we can say there’s no hope of survival because the landslide was very big. Because the road has been cut off, we can only use manpower to dig and search,” an official said.
“Some of the rocks that fell from the hills were as big as two stories in a building…measuring 100 to 200 cubic meters long. All we can do is search places where we smell rotting bodies,” he said.
With more heavy rains forecast in the coming days, Chinese officials were bracing for the worst.
Official estimates last weekend put the death toll at 569. But it is certain to rise further with at least 100 more people reported either dead or missing since then.