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China Landslide Leaves Dozens Dead
A landslide sweeping through a village in the snow-dusted mountains of southern China has killed 46 people, including many children.
The last three bodies were pulled out of the debris on Saturday morning, after a night of rescue efforts by more than 1,000 workers.
The landslide smashed into the remote village of Gappo, in Zhenxiong County, on Friday morning, leaving 16 homes in complete ruin.
Those buried included 27 adults and 19 children, the official Xinhua news agency said. Two other people have been taken to hospital.
Rescue crews used construction machinery to sift through piles of mud and earth, but efforts were hampered by the unusually cold temperatures that have hit the country.
Soldiers, police and firefighters joined the rescue efforts.
Li Yongju, 50, said she had heard the crash of the landslide while cleaning her yard, and immediately rushed with other villagers to the disaster site with shovels and hoes.
"We pulled out several people, one of whom was breathing weakly. But after a while he died," Xinhua quoted Ms Li as saying.
Another resident wept as she recounted hearing the rumble of the landslide and how her relatives had been killed.
"My grandma, brother, uncle and my aunt's family members died," Zhou Benju told the agency.
A preliminary investigation blames saturation from more than 10 days of rain and snow for the disaster, the local county government of Zhenxiong said in a statement posted on its website.
Premier Wen Jiabao travelled to the scene overnight to comfort survivors, many of whom had taken shelter in tents erected on a public square.
Zhenxiong County, in northeast Yunnan, is a mountainous area prone not just to landslides but also earthquakes.
Two quakes in September - one of magnitude 5.7 - left 81 people dead and hundreds injured.
A month later, a neighbouring county was hit by a landslide that left 18 children dead.
As a relatively impoverished area of China, Yunnan's rural houses are often cheaply constructed and easily demolished when natural disasters strike.
Zhenxiong County is best known for tobacco and Pu'er tea production.