12 dead, 26 missing as rain batters SW China

Photo taken on Aug. 20, 2019 shows floodwater in Yanmen Township in Wenchuan County, southwest China's Sichuan Province. (Photo by Fu Paiyong/Xinhua)

12 people have been killed and 26 remained unaccounted for after heavy downpours and mudslides hit southwest China's Sichuan Province.

CHENGDU, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The death toll has risen to 12 while 26 were unaccounted for after heavy downpours and mudslides battered a county in southwest China's Sichuan Province, local authorities said Friday.

Two missing persons in Wenchuan County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, were confirmed dead Friday, according to the emergency management bureau of Aba.

A total of 95,500 tourists in Wenchuan and other counties have been evacuated to safety as of 12:00 a.m. Friday, including more than 47,200 in Wenchuan. There are no tourists stranded in the disaster-affected areas.

Heavy downpours and mudslides hit counties including Wenchuan and Songpan in the province Tuesday, damaging some roads and stranding a large number of passengers.

The prefecture organized buses and private vehicles to evacuate tourists immediately after the disaster occurred.

Search and rescue efforts are still underway.