DINGXI: A dog left trapped for 77 hours in a collapsed building after severe earthquakes hit much of north-west China has been pulled from the rubble alive by rescue workers.

The canine was stuck in the debris of the house in quake-hit Lalu Village, Hetuo Township, Dingxi, in northwest China’s Gansu Province, for more than three days.

But the dog managed to survive by drinking rainwater before he was eventually found by rescue workers scouring the region for survivors on Thursday. Rain then sparked further landslides last night - killing at least nine people and burying another eight.

The worst landslide buried 13 people in Nanyu village and nine bodies have been recovered, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Rescue efforts are under way in the neighbouring village of Yongguang, where four people were buried and are listed as missing, the report said.

The area along the Yellow River has rolling hills of loose soil blown south from the Gobi desert. Thunderstorms have loosened the terraced hillsides that were made unstable by the quake.

About 123,000 people were affected by the quake, with 31,600 moved to temporary shelters, the provincial earthquake administration said on its website. Almost 2,000 homes were destroyed and about 22,500 damaged, it said.

Urban areas where buildings are more solid were spared major damage, unlike the traditional mud and brick homes in the countryside.–DY