More than 3,000 people were trapped in Yingxiu Town in southwest China after rain-triggered landslides cut off the only highway into the quake-stricken town on Monday.
Hundreds of rescuers were working in the rain to clear the road, which was blocked by large amounts of earth and rocks, said an official with the Sichuan provincial highway administration.
Large landslides and mud-flows were spotted in three sections of road and the rescuers were still working at the first, which was 5 kilometers from Yingxiu, said the official, who declined to give his name.
"We're not sure when the road will be reopened as the rain is really a problem. It may cause new landslides," he said.
The provincial government had begun to consider sending relief materials by helicopter when the weather allowed.
The provincial observatory said on Monday that the province would experience more rain this week.
Yingxiu, three kilometers away from the epicenter of the May 12 earthquake, is one the of areas worst hit by the strongest quake to hit China in three decades with more than two thirds of its 12,000 residents dead.
The town was isolated for more than three days after the quake before the road reopened on May 17.
The 8.0-magnitude quake so far has left 69,195 people killed nationwide and 18,403 missing.
(Xinhua News Agency July 1, 2008)