Death tolls climbs to 43 in China landslide

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(CNN) — Rescuers in China have pulled out a total of 43 bodies following a landslide the size of a small town that rushed down a mountain earlier in the week, state media reported Saturday.

Some 118 people across Dujiangyan City — mostly tourists — were unaccounted for as of 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Chen Yangjie, vice mayor of the city said at a news conference, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

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

"So far no sign of life has been detected at the scene," Ma Kun, head of the firefighting division in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, said, according to Xinhua.

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.

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 that swept across China more than a decade ago.

Xinhua previously reported that more than 400 stranded people were safely moved out of Dujiangyan.

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