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Rescuers cease mission as fears mount over disease outbreak

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Teams of rescuers were only able to unearth 42 bodies from the 99 missing
  • Concerns cited over epidemic outbreaks and the slim chance of finding survivors from landslide
  • Xinhua reported that humid and hot weather made it unlikely to find any survivors six days after the disaster

(CNN) -- Citing concerns over epidemic outbreaks and the slim chance of finding survivors, rescuers in China have declared a complete halt in their search for bodies after last week's deadly landslide left 99 missing, China's official Xinhua agency reported Sunday.

Teams of rescuers were only able to unearth 42 bodies from the 99 missing from last week's rain-triggered landslide in the southwest village of Dazhai, in Guizhou Province, the state agency reported.

Xinhua reported that humid and hot weather made it unlikely rescuers would find any survivors six days after the disaster and that police have begun to cremate the bodies that were found after extracting DNA samples, Xinhua reported.

Life-detecting devices found no traces of life in the debris left by the landslide. About 20 excavators failed to uncover any bodies after turning some 400,000 cubic meters of mud at the site, officials said.

Torrential rains soaked much of south China in late June, leaving 266 people dead and another 199 missing in eleven provinces, the National Commission for Disaster Reduction said Friday.