GUANLING, Guizhou, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers Sunday gave up searching for more survivors, six days after a rain-triggered landslide buried 99 people in a southwest China village, citing mounting concerns to head off the outbreak of disease as well as the slim chance anyone could have survived after nearly one week.
Only 42 bodies have been recovered at the landslide-hit Dazhai Village in Guanling County, Guizhou Province. But rescuers said it was unlikely to find any more survivors six days after the disaster amid the humid and hot weather.
Police said they have begun to cremate the bodies after extracting DNA samples.
Also, rescuers said life-detecting equipment found no traces of life while 20 excavators failed to uncover any body after turning some 400,000 cubic meters of mud at the site.
On Sunday, police cordoned off the site and treated the area with disinfectants to prevent the outbreak of epidemics.
Excavators that had been combing the ruins for six days were replaced by trucks carrying bleaching powders, disinfecting materials, and vaccines.
Zhu Zhengming, deputy chief of the provincial health bureau, said the medical team faced increasing pressure as viruses and bacteria reproduced faster in the ongoing lingering heat.
For the sake of the health and safety of rescue workers, they must leave the site, Zhu said, ordering quarantine personnel to disinfect the ruins every six hours for four times before it is completely sealed off for three months.
Meanwhile, the government of Guanling announced on Sunday that families of each victim are entitled to cash compensation of 5,000 yuan and 500 kilograms of rice.8 Wang Mengzhou, the Party chief of Guanling, said a memorial service would be held near Dazhai Village on July 5 -- exactly one week after the landslide engulfed Dazhai and buried 99 local residents.
Downpours drenched much of south China in late June, leaving 266 people dead and another 199 missing in eleven provinces, the National Commission for Disaster Reduction said last Friday. Rain-triggered landslides and mud-rock flows were responsible for 80 percent of the casualties.