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Indeed a Sad Day – 7.8 Magnitude Earthquake in Chengdu, China

Pic from Associated Press

BEIJING (Reuters) – The most devastating earthquake to hit China in three decades has killed up to 5,000 people and left as many as 10,000 injured, toppling eight schools and at least one hospital, state media said.

An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people were killed in Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County in mountainous Sichuan province after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the region during the early afternoon on Monday, Xinhua news agency said, citing the local government.

As many as 10,000 in Beichuan were feared injured and 80 percent of the buildings there had been destroyed, the report said.

Beichuan’s population is 161,000, meaning about one in 10 residents were killed or injured in the quake. The county is a part of Mianyang city, and about 160 km (100 miles) from the provincial capital, Chengdu.

Hundreds of people were buried under rubble in Shifang in Sichuan as several schools, factories and dormitories collapsed during the quake, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The death toll was expected to rise sharply as authorities and rescue teams made contact with the worst-hit areas of Sichuan, where phone lines have been cut off since the quake struck.

The quake is the worst to hit China in 32 years since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake in northeastern China where up to 300,000 died.

Monday’s quake hit in the middle of the school day, toppling at least eight schools, leaving hundreds of students and teachers trapped, state media said.

About 900 teenagers were buried in the rubble of a collapsed three-storey school building in the Sichuan city of Dujiangyan.

Local villagers had already helped dozens of students out of the ruins and five cranes were excavating at the site as anxious parents looked on, Xinhua said.

Link to full article here.

Source – Reuters via Yahoo! News

May 12, 2008 Posted by | News Related, Yahoo | , | Leave a comment