The stench of death is thick but the search for survivors continues. And time is of the essence with fresh downpours threatening more misery for the landslide-devastated Chinese county of Zhouqu.
More than 1,100 people are now known to have died in the disaster, triggered by torrential rain on Saturday. Over 600 others are missing. There is now virtually no chance of finding anyone else alive.
Zhouqu in northwest Gansu province was engulfed by a tsunami of mud and rocks and now lies in ruins.
A steady flow of bodies is being carried to makeshift morgues. The remains of many victims, however, are entombed under the rubble. Relatives want them recovered so they can be laid to rest.
“My mother and father, who are in their 60s, and my younger brother, all three of them are still buried in our house,” says ethnic Tibetan resident Shen Si.
Several days of heavy rain are forecast. That could make more floods and landslides likely as well as complicating efforts to help those who have survived.