China landslide death toll climbs to 34: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - The death toll in a landslide in China’s southeastern Fujian province has risen to 34, with four people still missing, state media said on Monday.

The landslide, triggered on Sunday by heavy rain, hit a hydroelectric power station that was under construction in Fujian’s Taining County. President Xi Jinping had demanded that local officials step up rescue efforts.

Persistent rain has made rescue work more difficult, Xinhua said. It earlier said 22 bodies had been found.

In December, a landslide in the southern city of Shenzhen buried 77 people. The government has blamed breaches of construction safety rules for that disaster and a number of officials have been arrested.

Sunday’s landslide is the latest accident to have raised questions about China’s industrial safety standards and lack of oversight over years of rapid economic growth.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Alison Williams