Eighteen people were confirmed dead and two others injured in rain-triggered landslide that occurred Monday morning in Lueyang County, Shaanxi Province, rescuers said early Wednesday morning.
Torrential rain hit Lueyang county from 3 a.m. to midday Tuesday, triggering 5,000 cubic meters of landslide to engulf 12 houses in the county seat at 11:15 a.m., according to local authorities.
The local government sent more than 400 people to the spot for rescue operations. Rescuers pulled out 20 people, 17 of whom died on the spot, one died after treatment failed, and two others were injured and are being treated in hospital.
Rescuers have ended search operation early Wednesday morning and the Provincial Highway 309 has been cleared up and traffic is expected to be resumed later in the morning, according to local government sources.
More heavy rains are expected to hit the southern part of Shaanxi in the following 24 hours, the weather forecast said. Local flood control authorities are on high alert and are evacuating people living in low-lying areas and places threatened by possible heavy rains and ensuing mountain torrents.