The number of bodies recovered from a landslide that engulfed workers at a Chinese construction site rose to at least 22 on Monday with 17 people still missing, state media said.

Heavy rain at the weekend buried a temporary shed used by workers at a hydropower station construction site in Fujian province, in the southeast, under 100,000 cubic metres of mud and rocks, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

china landslide
Photo: Weibo.

Major rescue efforts were continuing in Taining county, it said.

The number of victims — which has fluctuated between different media — was revised down after two people previously listed as missing were found alive and safe, Xinhua added.

The semi-official China News Service said 26 deaths had been confirmed, with 13 missing.

President Xi Jinping has urged “maximum efforts” to find survivors, and more than 400 rescuers have been mobilised, Xinhua said, but continued rain has hampered operations.

china landslide

Deadly landslides are common in China.

At least 58 people were killed by a landslide in the southern commercial hub of Shenzhen in December, caused by the improper storage of waste, with some 25 still unaccounted for.

AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from wars and conflicts to politics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology.