More than 140 persons missing in China landslide

More than 140 people are feared buried in a landslide in Sichuan province in south-western China.

Report says about 40 homes were destroyed in Xinmo village in Maoxian county; after the side of a mountain collapsed at about 06:00 local time (22:00 GMT Friday).

Rescue teams are frantically searching for survivors trapped beneath rocks.

Pictures posted by the People’s Daily newspaper show bulldozers moving earth and large boulders as the rescue effort continues.

Report say a couple and a baby were rescued and taken to hospital after teams of workers used ropes to move large rocks while dozens of others searched the rubble.

It says the landslide blocked a two-kilometre stretch of a river.

Police said the landslide had been triggered by recent heavy rains in the region and that the situation was made worse by a lack of vegetation in the area.

“There are several tonnes of rock. It’s a seismic area here,” police captain Chen Tiebo said.

Roads in the county were closed on Saturday to all traffic except emergency services.

Landslides are a regular danger in mountainous regions of China, especially during heavy rains.

In 2008, 87,000 people were killed when an earthquake struck Wenchuan county in Sichuan province.

In Maoxian County, 37 tourists were killed when their coach was buried in a landslide caused by the earthquake.

Confidence Okwuchi/BBC