Wednesday, April 14, 2010

China: Death toll hits 300 after quake

The death toll in China's Qinghai province has risen to at least 300 people following a massive earthquake Wednesday morning. A further 8,000 others were injured according to Huang Limin, deputy secretary-general of the government of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu. The USGS measured the quake at 6.9 on the Richter scale while China's own earthquake monitoring bureau cited the size at 7.1.

More than 85% of the houses in the Jiegu Township near the epicenter had collapsed, Zhuo Huaxia, a publicity official with the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, told the official state media. Chinese TV showed wrecked buildings and people scrabbling through debris, as the government began a rescue mission. Yushu is hundreds of miles from an airport, and it is thought rescue crews may take time to reach the quake zone.

"Soldiers have been dispatched to save the people buried in the collapsed houses," local official Huang Limin was quoted as saying by China's state news agency Xinhua. Around 3,700 armed police of Qinghai had been dispatched to start rescue operations, the Voice of China reported. According to Xie Caishu, captain of Qinghai's armed police, more than 600 armed rescuers had already arrived in Yushu. A further 2,000 people made up of soldiers and residents of Xining, capital of Qinghai, were on their way [Xinhua / BBC / China Daily]

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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