Forecasters warn water levels could rise further and cause more destruction as rescue teams continue search for survivors
At least 1,117 people died when mud and debris swept through Zhouqu, in Gansu province, late on Saturday night and more than 600 are missing. There is little hope of finding more survivors among what are thought to be the hundreds who were buried alive in metres of sludge.
The 10,000 rescue and relief workers are continuing to search for bodies but attention is turning to the threat of disease.
Crews in protective suits have sprayed chemical disinfectant across the ground and over machinery. State media has reported numerous cases of dysentery and warned of a serious shortage of drinking water, with most local sources destroyed or polluted.
One survivor, Yang Jianjie, gave a graphic description of the moment landslides engulfed the county seat. He stood hand in hand with his parents and grandfather on the roof of their home as the tide of mud swept towards them – only to be separated as the two-storey building collapsed.