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Man rescued after 50 hours trapped

Rescuers digging by hand through thick mud in a remote Chinese town have found a man who has been trapped for more than 50 hours.

The 52-year-old had been stuck inside a collapsed apartment building following landslides in the north-western province of Gansu which have killed hundreds and left more than 1,100 missing, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Rescuers with sniffer dogs discovered the man, who was weak but breathing normally.

The death toll in the country is now 700 after landslides in Gansu the day before - the deadliest incident so far in China's worst flooding in a decade.

The government said 1,148 people were missing and about 45,000 were evacuated. It was not known how many of the missing were in danger or simply out of contact as workers rushed to restore communications in the area.

A debris-blocked swollen river burst, swamping entire mountain villages in Zhouqu and ripping homes from their foundations.

Another survivor in Gansu, Yang Zhukai, began the sad task of making simple coffins for the 10 to 20 relatives killed by the mudslide in Zhouqu.

Throughout the area, bodies were seen wrapped in blankets and tied to sticks or placed on planks and left on the shattered streets for collection.

The ruling Communist Party's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee met early on Tuesday to discuss rescue and relief work, a move which will help to free up even more resources.

More rain is expected in the region over the next three days, the China Meteorological Administration said.

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