BEIJING — A series of landslides triggered by heavy rains in China has left at least 41 people dead and 34 others missing, state media said Wednesday, as authorities brace for possible flooding.
The landslides swept through villages in the southwestern provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan and in the central province of Hunan earlier this week.
In a small township in Yunnan's Qiaojia county -- the worst-hit -- 17 people have been confirmed dead and 28 were still missing, Xinhua news agency said in its latest report on the mounting toll.
Another 43 people were injured, a spokesman for the local government, who declined to be named, told AFP by phone.
Pictures from the scene showed a building completely dislocated from its foundation by the force of the landslide and teetering precariously, a car thrown on its side and streets caked in mud.
Relief teams were sent to the scene of the disaster with tents, rice, quilts and fresh clothing, Xinhua said.
The China Daily said two other landslides in neighbouring Sichuan province left 14 people dead, and one person was still unaccounted for.
In Hunan, 10 people were killed and five others remained missing in two separate landslides, Xinhua said.
According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, torrential rains and flooding have left 107 dead and 59 missing in China since the beginning of July, but it was unclear whether the landslide victims were part of that toll.
Heavy downpours since last week in parts of central and eastern China -- some of which suffered from deadly floods last month -- have caused levels in major lakes and some tributaries of the Yangtze River to rise alarmingly.
The National Meteorological Centre on Wednesday maintained its orange rainstorm alert, predicting more downpours in many of those areas.
Typhoon Conson, which has killed three people and caused major damage in the Philippines, is also expected to hit southern China towards the end of the week, the centre warned.
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