Villagers try to rescue people buried in a mudslide hits Wama Village of Longyang District in southwest China's Yunnan Province. As of 10 am, rescuers had saved 23 people from the rubble of homes in Wama Village. [Xinhua]
KUNMING - The death toll from mudslides that hit a village in southwest China's Yunnan Province late Wednesday has climbed to four, and 44 people are still missing, local government said Thursday.
It said the accident happened at about 10:20 pm, trapping 71 people from 20 families.
Rescuers are still searching for the missing.
The city government said repair work was being done to restore power supplies and the damaged telecommunications system.
The provincial land and resources department sent a team of geologists to help investigate the cause of the landslides and prevent subsequent disasters.
The village is sandwiched between steep mountains and the Nujiang River, the longest waterway in southwest China.
Experts say a sustained drought, which lasted from September last year to May, followed by this summer's torrential rain, increased the risk of landslides and avalanches of rocks and mud in the region.