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Number of missing rises to 141 in Chinese landslide

BEIJING -- At least 141 people are missing after heavy rain triggered a landslide in south-western China, local authorities have said.

A rescue mission was underway after approximately 40 homes were buried in Maoxian county in Sichuan province, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The landslide hit the village of Xinmo at around 6 am (2200 GMT Friday) and blocked a 2-kilometre section of a river, according to Xinhua.

Pictures from the scene, shared by the People's Daily newspaper group on Twitter, showed emergency responders walking among large mounds of rubble.

China's president Xi Jinping on Saturday said rescue workers should do all they can to reach people buried by the landslides and minimize casualties.

The landslide occurred in a hilly area of Sichuan, inhabited by Tibetans and another minority group, the Qiang people.

A day earlier, two villagers died while four others were injured in Puge county of Sichuan province, also after rain-triggered landslides, Xinhua reported.

China has been experiencing weeks of heavy summer rains that have caused extensive flooding and triggered landslides.

In central China's Hunan and Hubei provinces, flooding has affected at least 390,000 people this week, Xinhua said, adding that 9,000 people have been evacuated.

In some areas there was over 160 millimetres of rainfall in just one day. In the Hunan city of Yueyang, 47 reservoirs reportedly overflowed.

Heavy rain is forecast to continue in Hunan over the next few days.

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