A China earthquake left at least 400 people dead and 10,000
injured, as rescue teams rushed to northwestern Qinghai Province.
At least 400 people were killed and 10,000 injured early
Wednesday after an earthquake of at least 6.9 magnitude hit a
mountainous agrarian part of Qinghai Province in northwestern China.
Striking around dawn while many locals were at home, the quake
collapsed buildings in Jiegu Township, near the epicenter, trapping
hundreds under rubble, Huang Limin, deputy secretary-general of the
Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, told the state-run Xinhua News
More than 85 percent of the houses in Jiegu, a town of 100,000
people, were destroyed, Zhuo Huaxia, a prefectural official told
Xinhua: "The streets in Jiegu are thronged with panicked, injured
people, with many bleeding in the head. Many students are buried
under the debris due to building collapse at a vocational school."
With memories of the 2008 earthquake in neighboring Sichuan
Province still strong, the government's response to this disaster
will be closely watched, particularly since the quake zone is in a
poor area largely inhabited by ethnic Tibetans.
A day's drive from main airport
By early evening, some rescue teams able to land at the damaged
airport in Yushu, in southwestern Qinghai, were trying to deliver
the first emergency medical supplies, food, and tents, China Central
Other teams will have to make their way 18 hours through the
mountains by automobile from the capital Xining, in the northeastern
part of the province, CCTV said.
"The biggest problem now is that we lack tents, we lack medical
equipment, medicine, and medical workers," Zhuo told Xinhua.
The epicenter at Rima Township, 30 miles from Jiegu, is a
sparsely populated pastureland, where fewer casualties are likely to
be recorded, Zhuo told Xinhua.
"Our first task is to save students. Schools are always places
that have many people," said Kang Zifu, a People's Liberation Army
officer in the rescue operation in Yushu, told Xinhua.
Scars from Sichuan quake
In May 2008, 5,335 Chinese students were crushed when their
schools collapsed in the 8.0 magnitude Sichuan earthquake, official
data showed, sparking widespread public criticism of shoddily built
government schools and an outcry over Beijing's reaction to the
quake, which many perceived to be insufficient. …