Photo taken on Aug. 16, 2010 shows the Bailongjiang River running across landslide-hit Zhouqu County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China's Gansu Province. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)
ZHOUQU, Gansu, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from the massive mudslides in Zhouqu County, in northwest China's Gansu Province, had risen to 1,435 as of Sunday, with 330 still missing, rescue headquarters said.
Also Sunday, the county government issued a notice prohibiting locals from continuing to search for the missing people to prevent disease outbreaks.
A government spokesman said two weeks after the devastating disaster some survivors had not yet stopped searching for the bodies of their loved ones.
Some people had even hired helpers and machinery to search the debris for their buried family members.
"The bodies have begun to rot after being buried for two weeks. Searching the debris risks an epidemic outbreak," the spokesman said.
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