The death toll in a north-west China county rose to 127 on Sunday, after a series of rain-triggered landslides hit the region, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

About 2,000 people were still missing and another 76 were left injured after the landslides, which occurred overnight in Zhouqu County, in a Tibetan part of Gansu Province, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

“I heard the fierce storm around 11:30 pm, later I found the mud rock flow had rushed to our residential building. The cars in the yard have all been damaged. Many toppled houses have formed new barriers to the floods,” Peng Wei, head of the county’s fire department, was quoted as saying.

At least 50,000 people were believed to be affected by flooding that has submerged much of the county. Landslides have buried many houses, Xinhua quoted local authorities as saying.

Medical teams and more than 2,000 soldiers were dispatched for search and rescue operations.

Mud as deep as one metre covered roads in some parts of the county, hampering the search.

“Since excavators can’t reach the site, we can only use spades and our hands to rescue the buried,” an army officer, He Youxin, told Xinhua.

Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in the area later in the afternoon to help coordinate relief efforts.

Several other parts of the country were also hard hit by recent torrential rain and flooding. According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, there have been more than 1,450 flood-related deaths this year, and hundreds of people are still missing.

Keywords: China landslide

More In: International | News