The death toll from a landslide that struck in China's rugged southwest rose to 43 on Thursday, state media said, leaving just one victim still missing under the debris.

The landslide, which occurred in Yunnan province's Zhenxiong county before dawn on Monday, buried 18 homes and sparked the evacuation of more than 200 people.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported Thursday evening that nine more bodies were uncovered at the scene, raising the death toll from 34 on Wednesday.

President Xi Jinping on Monday ordered "all-out" rescue efforts.

Following the disaster, 200 rescue workers braved frigid temperatures and a layer of snow in a race against the clock to find buried villagers.

Images shared by state media showed responders in helmets, face masks and bright orange clothing digging through twisted metal and concrete through the night in a bid to locate survivors.

Dozens of fire trucks and large digging equipment could also be seen.

Landslides are common in Yunnan, a far-flung and largely impoverished region of China where steep mountain ranges rise up to the vast Himalayan plateau.

China has experienced a string of natural disasters in recent months, some following extreme weather events such as sudden, heavy downpours.