A landslide has engulfed a village in southern China killing at least 32 people and leaving 'dozens' more trapped today. Mud and rocks smothered 16 homes in Zhaojiagou village, in county of Zhenxiong this morning. Rescuers have so far recovered 32 bodies and a further 46 have been reported missing according to state media sources.
Deadly: The death toll is currently 32 and is expected to rise as rescuers continue the hunt for survivors
Two victims have been taken to hospital. Falling earth swept over the village at around 8.20am this morning said the state-controlled channel CCTV. Local reports said a 700-strong emergency team had been dispatched to the disaster zone while Yunnan's provincial governor, Li Jiheng, had also travelled to the region.
Rescue crews in orange jumpsuits were using construction machinery to sift through massive piles of mud and earth in the desperate scramble to find survivors.
Behind them stood hillsides and pine trees covered in snow, signs of the unusually cold winter that has hit all of China.
An official from Zhenxiong's propaganda office, who gave his name as Mr. Wu, told the Daily Telegraph: 'All the leaders are at the scene giving instructions on the rescue work. Right now the rescue work is the priority, trying to save more lives is the priority.'
Reports did not say what triggered the landslide. They occur periodically in the region, which is prone to earthquakes and heavy rains.
In a nearby county, 81 people died after an earthquake in September. A month later, a landslide buried a primary school, leaving 18 students and one other person dead.