22/12/2015 5:27 AM AEDT | Updated 22/12/2015 5:27 AM AEDT

Startling Footage Shows Landslide Ravaging China's Shenzhen

The landslide happened after heavy rain destabilized a 330-foot-high mountain of soil and construction waste.

STR/AFP/Getty Images
A landslide, caused by the combination of heavy rains and a pile of dirt and construction debris, spilled over an area of 4 million square feet and destroyed 33 buildings on Sunday.

Startling photos and videos showed a life-threatening landslide topple a building in an industrial park in Shenzhen, a major city in China's southern Guangdong province, on Sunday.

At least 85 people remained missing and 16 people hospitalized as of Monday evening in China, The Associated Press reports.

STR/AFP/Getty Images
At least 85 people remain missing and 16 people hospitalized after the disaster.

The landslide came after heavy rains destabilized a 330-foot-high mountain of soil and construction waste accumulated over two years. The debris spilled over an area of 380,000 square meters (4 million square feet) and destroyed some 33 buildings, including three workers' dormitories and 14 factories.

Immediately after the incident, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Shenzhen city and Guangdong province authorities to conduct search-and-rescue missions, treat the wounded and mollify families as quickly as possible, Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua said. Some 2,900 people are on the scene, digging through the rubble, according to China's People's Daily.

A number of photos and videos, taken both on the ground and from drones, show rescue workers carry out search-and-rescue missions amid a deluge of orange dirt and building debris strewn across the city.

  • STR/Getty Images
    Cranes dig through debris in search of missing people.
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    Rescuers work their way through the ruined buildings.
  • Andy Wong/Associated Press
    Cranes dig through debris in search of missing people.
  • STR via Getty Images
    A building collapses in Shenzhen.
  • Lam Yik Fei via Getty Images
    Emergency services search a collapsed building after the landslide buried dozens of buildings.
  • ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
    Rescuers search for survivors in the rubble from collapsed buildings.
  • STR/Getty Images
    Chinese rescue teams work, as photographed from above.
  • Andy Wong via Associated Press
    People watch rescuers using machinery to extract potential survivors from collapsed buildings.