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Casualties have risen in landslide-hit Zhouqu County, in Northwest China's Gansu Province.
Nearly 130 people have been confirmed dead. 117 others are injured, 29 seriously. Nearly 1,300 remain missing. Heavy downpours triggered landslides and mud-rock flows in the mountain-locked county on Sunday morning. China's Earthquake Administration has sent a rescue team equipped with sniffer dogs and life-detecting instruments.
Zhouqu was also among the hardest-hit areas in the 2008 earthquake centered in neighboring Sichuan Province. The county is in the Ganan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southern Gansu. It covers an area of over 3,000 square kilometers. Ethnic Tibetan herders and farmers account for about a third of its 130,000 population.
Experts from the Ministry of Land and Resources say the peculiar landform and geological structure are the main causes of the disaster. In addition, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake had loosened the rock stratum, contributing to the tragedy.