Nine people were killed and at least 47 others were buried alive beneath an enormous landslide in the mountains of Yunnan province, China, in the early hours of Monday morning.
Authorities are fighting freezing temperatures and snowy conditions in a rush to find survivors after the landslide struck 18 households across two villages, according to Reuters. Almost 1,000 rescue workers were dispatched to villages, and 500 people were evacuated from their homes, the outlet reported. The cause of the landslide remains unclear.
“The mountain just collapsed, dozens were buried,” one witness told a local news outlet, noting that four of his relatives were buried beneath the rubble, according to Reuters. “They were all sleeping in their homes.”
Footage of the aftermath shared online by ABC News showed huge piles of rock and dirt cascading down the mountainside and into one of the villages.
Two survivors have been found in the debris and sent to a local hospital, The Associated Press noted. (RELATED: Apocalyptic Scenes As Mudslides Rip Through Small Italian Town)
Freezing weather conditions and intermittent snow are expected to last for at least the next three days, making rescue and recovery efforts that much more complex, according to AP.
Those displaced in the chaos have been placed in school buildings and other temporary accommodations and provided with food. But one survivor told AP that she, her husband, their three children and others are still waiting for blankets and other goods to protect them from the cold.
The landslide came just a week after more than 1,000 people were trapped in a remote skiing area in northwest China following dozens of avalanches, AP reported. That disaster blocked multiple roads, forcing authorities to airlift the injured out of the area and fly in supplies for survivors.