CCTV showed still images of rescuers in orange overalls heading to the site on foot along a winding mountain road. They were later shown bent over a large mound of earth, tugging at large concrete slabs buried in it.


Large areas of southern China have been hit by flooding in the last week, with at least 239 people killed and another 109 missing - not including those from Monday's landslide.

On Sunday, floodwaters began receding in the hard-hit south, and workers finished repairing a dyke breach that forced the evacuation of 100,000 people.

But torrential rains have continued in the region where the landslide occurred.

"The landslide was triggered by heavy rains in the past few days, especially last night's rain. There is little chance that the people who are trapped will be able to survive," a provincial official said in a phone interview from Guiyang, the provincial capital, about 200km northeast of the landslide-hit area.

"I heard a huge 'bang' this afternoon when it was raining before I realised it was a landslide," resident Huang told AP. "Some people did not manage to run away and I assume that they are all dead."

CCTV said Hui Liangyu, the Chinese vice-premier, was heading to the area with a team of experts to help co-ordinate rescue work.