Chinese landslide rescue effort continues

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Rescue efforts are continuing after a torrent of rubble-strewn floodwaters tore through a remote community in northwestern China on Sunday, killing at least 127, and leaving an estimated 2,000 missing.

The deluge of floodwaters smashed buildings, and overturned cars leaving half the town underwater.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao joined with rescue workers, and offered encouragement to families still trapped beneath the rubble. "Folks, please hold on we are trying to get you out," he shouted to one family.

Rescuers worked through the night to pull families from the rubble with flood water levels remaining high in the area.

Heavy equipment could not be brought along the narrow access roads, forcing rescuers to rely on shovels, picks and buckets, while scattered stones either barred the way or caused tyres to rupture.

Emergency tents and an evacuation centre had been set up for victims of the landslide that ripped through the town destroying houses. Tents, boxed meals and medical supplies were being rushed to the area.

Meanwhile, many of the injured were being cared for in local hospitals.

Authorities said 45,000 people had been evacuated, but the region's remote, mountainous location was hampering the emergency response.

The landslides struck after heavy rains lashed the country and the Bailong River overflowed. More rain is forecast through to Wednesday.

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