The death toll in a landslide in China's southeastern Fujian province has risen to 22, with 17 people still missing, state media said on Monday.

The landslide, triggered on Sunday by heavy rain, hit a hydroelectric power station that was under construction in Fujian's Taining County. President Xi Jinping had demanded that local officials step up rescue efforts.

"As of 1 p.m., 22 bodies had been found at the scene and two people who were on the missing list had been found alive and safe," the official Xinhua news agency said, citing authorities.

Persistent rain has made rescue work more difficult, Xinhua said.

In December, a landslide in the southern city of Shenzhen buried 77 people. The government has blamed breaches of construction safety rules for that disaster and a number of officials have been arrested.

Sunday's landslide is the latest accident to have raised questions about China's industrial safety standards and lack of oversight over years of rapid economic growth.