BEIJING — More than 100 people in southwestern China are feared to have been buried under an avalanche of mud and rocks when a hillside collapsed after heavy rains on Saturday, Chinese news media reported.
The landslide struck Xinmo, a village in Sichuan Province, early in the morning. Although the number of possible deaths remained unclear, officials estimated that 40 homes appeared to have been engulfed, Sichuan Online, a provincial news agency reported. At that hour, many residents would probably have been in their homes.
“About 100 people are feared to be buried,” Xinhua, the official news agency, said in a brief report. The Communist Party secretary of Sichuan, Wang Dongming, and other officials were rushing to the village, in a sign of the gravity of the disaster, Sichuan Daily said.
Photographs from the scene indicated that a thinly vegetated side of a hill had toppled into a narrow valley, creating a wall of muddy earth and stones that covered a road and choked off a small river. Mao County, which includes Xinmo, announced a state of emergency and said rescuers were heading to the village.