At least nine schoolchildren died and 10 were missing after a village in China’s south-western Yunnan province was hit by a landslip on Thursday morning.

Nine primary school students — attending classes during the national holiday week to make up for delayed lessons on account of an earlier earthquake — were killed when their school building was buried in the landslip, authorities were quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Officials said six residences near the school were also hit by the landslip in Yiliang. The county was devastated only a month ago, on September 7, by an earthquake that killed 81 people. As of Thursday night, rescuers were still working to reach the 10 people missing — nine of whom were thought to be primary school students — still buried in the school building.

News of the landslip evoked some comparisons with the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which killed tens of thousands of children after school buildings collapsed. Subsequent investigations uncovered shoddy construction practices, triggering widespread public anger.

State media outlets on Thursday highlighted in detail the rescue work undertaken by local authorities in an apparent attempt to assuage any public concerns and to stress that they would spare no effort to save the children.

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