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Pattaya Daily News

14 April 2010 :: 14:04:34 pm 18174

Earthquake In Northwest China: Over 300 Feared Dead

A powerful earthquake occurred in north-western China early on Wednesday morning, local media report over 300 deaths with a further 8,000 injured in the devastation.
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Beijing, the 14th of April 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: The 7.1 magnitude earthquake which struck in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture region of Yushu, in China’s northwest, destroyed houses and caused several landslides in the mountainous and remote region.

Yushu County is a rural, farming and herding community, pocketed with copper, tin and coal mines. The Chinese government estimate the population of the region at approximately 80,000, largely of the ethnic Tibetan race.

Chinese national radio has reported the over 80% of the regions homes and commercial buildings have collapse, with various government buildings and schools reportedly surviving the devastation. Aside from the estimated 300 dead and 8,000 injured, many more have been displaced from their destroyed homes, gathering in the streets or persisting to search for lost family and friends.

A local television employee, Mr. Karsum Nyima explained; “All of a sudden, the houses collapsed. It was a terrible earthquake. In the park, a Buddhist pagoda fell down. Everyone is in the street in front of their houses. They are trying to find family members.”

Rescue efforts at present are being stymied by the lack of heavy machinery in the remote region, along with a short supply of medical equipment and medicine.

The road network connecting the rural community with the nearby airport and other sources of potential aid is believed to have been destroyed; local Army soldiers are reportedly attempting to dig trapped civilians out by hand. Local reporters speculate that if aid is not sent fast the death toll could rise into the thousands.

The Chinese Civil Affairs Ministry is reportedly preparing an amount of 5,000 tents and 50,000 blankets to be sent to the region, whilst a further 3,000 army troops have already been dispatched to the disaster zone to aid the existing 700 paramilitary officers believed to be helping at present.

Over 87,000 people died in a powerful earthquake which struck the adjacent Sichuan Province in 2008.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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