A landslide swept over a village in northwest China covering dozens of homes and leaving at least 17 dead and 11 missing, state media said on Thursday.

The official Xinhua News Agency said rescuers in Shaanxi province were scrambling to find survivors after a massive wall of earth peeled away from a mountainside early Wednesday, crushing at least 25 houses in Shuanghuyu village.

Xinhua said local officials believe spring weather loosened up the frozen loess, a mix of fine—grained dirt and clay, and triggered the landslide.

Guo Peicai, a local county chief, was quoted as saying the chances of finding survivors was slim because of the scale of the devastation.

“Houses have been completely buried under loess,” Mr. Guo told Xinhua. “Rescuers had difficulty finding supporting structures in the debris, where victims could have room for survival.”

Ten people were hospitalized with injuries, it said.

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