"The landslides occurred at around 12 am in Zhouqu county in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. More than 80 people have been confirmed dead and some 2,000 are missing," said Mao Shengwu, an official.
"Torrential rains began at around 10 pm Saturday, Aug 7, then there were landslides," Xinhua quoted Diemujiangteng, head of the county, as saying.
"Many people were trapped. Now the sludge has become the biggest problem. It"s too thick to walk or drive through," he added.
At least 50,000 residents in the county seat and nearby regions were believed to be affected as floods had submerged half of the county and many houses were buried by landslides, authorities said.