Around 100 people are feared buried after a landslide smashed some 40 homes in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Saturday morning. The landslide from a high part of a mountain in Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba fell to Xinmo Village at about 6 a.m., blocking a 2-km section of a river course, according to a report in state news agency Xinhua.
The landslide that unleashed huge rocks and a mass of earth from a mountain engulfed the village of Xinmo, burying some 40 homes, the government of Mao County in Sichuan province said.
An emergency response "to the first class catastrophic geological disaster" is under way, the government statement said.
The landslide also blocked a 2 kilometer (1.24 mile)-section of a river. Wang Yongbo, a local rescue official, told state broadcaster CCTV that an estimated 3 million cubic meters (105 million cubic feet) of earth and rock had slid down the mountain.
The authoities have launched search and rescue operation. More than 400 rescuers, including police, are involved in the operation. CCTV showed footage of rescuers using a couple of earth movers but also relying on ropes to pull at huge rocks.
A meteorologist interviewed by CCTV said there had been light rains in the area that would continue for a few days.
Mao County, or Maoxian, is home to about 110,000 people, according to the government's website. Most residents are of the Qiang ethnic minority.
The village is known locally for tourism and Chinese reports said it was unclear if tourists were among the people buried by the landslide. The village includes a hotel.