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Death toll rises to 43 in SW China landslide


10:18, July 14, 2013

Photo taken on July 13, 2013 shows flowers presented to the victims at landslide scene in Sanxi Village of Dujiangyan City, southwest China's Sichuan Province. As of 19:00 p.m. (GMT 1100), 43 people were confirmed dead during the landslide that happened in the village of Sanxi on July 10. Some 118 people across the city were missing or can not immediately be reached. Local authorities are continuing to verify the exact number of those missing. Search and rescue work continues. (Xinhua/Xue Yubin)

CHENGDU, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from a landslide in southwest China's Sichuan Province has risen to 43 after 25 more bodies were retrieved, local authorities said.

As of 9:30 p.m. Saturday, rescuers had found 43 bodies from the landslide that happened on Wednesday morning in the village of Sanxi in Dujiangyan City, said Chen Yangjie, vice mayor of the city at a press conference.

Chen added that the identities of ten bodies have been confirmed.

Some 118 people across the city were missing or can not immediately be reached. Most of them are tourists, said Chen.

Local authorities are continuing to verify the exact number of those missing. They have been expanding search and rescue range.

"So far no sign of life has been detected at the scene," said Ma Kun, head of the firefighting division in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province.

The landslide, which had buried 11 homes in the region that was struck by a devastating earthquake in 2008, is believed to have been triggered by severe rainstorms since Monday evening.

The affected area of the landslide is 2 kilometers long, with about 1.5 million cubic meters of mud, rock and debris, said Qiao Jianping, a researcher with the Institute of Mountain and Environment under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The rainstorms are the most severe one in Dujiangyan since 1954. Before the landslide happened, local authorities had relocated 26,954 people.

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