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China mudslide toll at 42, with 57 missing: report

Chinese rescuers help villagers evacuate from the landslide area in Guanling, southwest China's Guizhou province on June 29, 2010. Hundreds of rescuers in southwest China struggled in treacherous conditions on June 29 to pull out 107 people buried in a landslide, but said there was only a "slim" chance of finding survivors. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 5, 2010
Rescue workers have dug up the bodies of 42 people killed in a rain-triggered landslide in southwest China, with hopes for 57 others missing all but gone, state press said.

The hundreds of rescuers on Sunday gave up digging through the debris of the June 28 landslide that buried scores of homes in Dazhai village, Guizhou province, with scant hope of finding survivors, Xinhua news agency said.

More than 100,000 cubic metres of mud and rocks, the equivalent of 40 Olympic-size swimming pools, engulfed the buildings and homes in the village, state press reports have said.

One report said that up to 45 of the missing or dead were children left in the village by their migrant worker parents, who had departed the remote rural region in search of jobs.

Many of the other victims were elderly people who had been charged with taking care of the children, mostly born after 1995, it said.

Local officials have refused to confirm such reports when contacted by AFP.

Sunday's toll was up from 26 dead and 73 missing reported on Saturday.

Much of south and central China has been hit by severe rains that have triggered floods, landslides, dyke breaches and other related disasters.

According to Xinhua news agency, 266 people were confirmed dead and 199 missing following the torrential rains from June 13 to 29, including those earlier listed as missing in Guizhou.

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