Death toll in China landslide rises to 25 as more than 1,000 first responders look for survivors

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The death toll from a landslide in southwestern China has now risen to 25 on Tuesday as more than 1,000 first responders are combing through the rubble in a mountainous village as part of a desperate search for survivors. 

One of the rescuers working the disaster scene in Liangshui says there are unstable soil conditions, Reuters is reporting, citing local media. First responders in the village in China’s Yunnan province are already dealing with freezing temperatures and falling snow. 

“It is difficult to carry out large-scale mechanical operations, and it is very difficult to rescue on site,” the rescuer said, according to Reuters. 

Chinese state television says following the landslide that struck early Monday, 25 people have been confirmed dead, 19 are still missing and three have been rescued, Reuters also reported. 

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Rescue workers search for survivors on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the landslide site in southwestern China. (STR/CNS/AFP via Getty Images)

Authorities resumed search and rescue operations Tuesday after suspending the work temporarily due to another landslide alert. 

More than 1,000 rescuers are participating in the operation, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management. Two of the survivors that were rescued Monday are recovering at a local hospital. 

State news agency Xinhua, citing a preliminary investigation by local experts, said the landslide was triggered by the collapse of a steep clifftop area, with the collapsed mass measuring around 330 feet wide, 200 feet in height, and about an average of 20 feet in thickness. It did not elaborate on what caused the initial collapse. 

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Aerial photo of China landslide aftermath

An aerial drone photo taken on Monday shows the site of a landslide in Liangshui in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.   

Chinese state television on Monday broadcast video of first responders carrying away an individual on a stretcher.  

Other footage showed excavators digging through debris. 

China landslide aftermath

Chinese military personnel and rescue workers search for survivors after the landslide. (AFP via Getty Images)

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In China’s western Xinjiang region on Tuesday, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake also destroyed dozens of homes but only left six people injured. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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