MINXIAN, Gansu, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Persistent rain and cold weather on Sunday hindered rescue operations in a mountainous county in northwest China where hail and torrential rains have left 40 people dead and 18 others missing.
Another 87 people were sent to hospital and nearly 30,000 local residents were evacuated after rain and hail battered Minxian county in Gansu province Thursday afternoon.
Rains continued to ravage the county on Sunday, bringing temperatures down to zero in mountainous areas. In some places, the rain was mixed with snow, said an official with the county government.
Roads were blocked, houses collapsed, farmland destroyed and power supplies and telecommunications services disrupted by the extreme weather, Xu Guangyao, director of the county's civil affairs bureau, said after the disaster.
Some roads were still blocked Sunday, making it difficult for relief vehicles to pass through.
Workers in bulldozers and excavators were trying to clean up the road, but rains hindered their efforts.
Although nearly 1,000 tents, 1,270 beds and other relief supplies had been sent to the disaster-hit area, local residents were still in need of more relief supplies, such as heavy coats and stoves, because of the freezing weather.
More rains are expected to hit the county in the coming three days, according to the local weather bureau.
Minxian, with a population of 450,000, is located 150 km from Zhouqu county, where a rain-triggered mudslide killed more than 1,500 people in August 2010.