Death toll continues rising in landslide in southwest China

Story highlights

  • Death toll reaches 31 after rain-induced landslide in Sichuan province
  • 166 people are missing near the city of Dujiangyan
  • Flooding has deluged 81,000 acres of crops, caused more than $40 million in losses

Rescuers in China had pulled a total of 31 bodies from the wreckage from a landslide the size of a small town that rushed down a mountain earlier in the week.
State-run CCTV reported on Friday that the number of people missing in and around the city of Dujiangyan was 166, up from 107 the previous day.

The flooding that caused the landslide has destroyed 5,100 houses and damaged another 90,000. Rescuers continued digging through the debris in search of survivors and victims.

The forecast calls for less rain, which should make the search easier.

Flooding that triggered the landslide has affected 1.5 million people and inundated tens of thousands of acres of crops. The torrents have plagued the mountainous region since Monday, smashing bridges and knocking out power to thousands.

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Deadly floods swallow Chinese buildings

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They have washed away property worth more than $40 million, provincial officials said.

Zhang Jiuchun is an interior designer living in Mianyang, the second-largest city in Sichuan. He told CNN in a phone interview that flooding, landslides and mudslides have paralyzed highway and rail services in many parts of the province.

Zhang said suburban areas have been hit the hardest.

"I think it's the worst since 1998," Zhang said of the disaster, referring to major flooding sweeping across China over a decade ago.

Xinhua also reported that more than 400 stranded people have been securely moved out of Dujiangyan.

In January: 46 dead after landslide in southwest China