Sunday, 21 April 2013

China earthquake: Death toll climbs to 181, thousands injured, many missing

China earthquake: Death toll climbs to 181, thousands injured, many missing, A magnitude 7 earthquake hit China's Sichuan province on April 20 claiming over 181 lives and injuring 11,200. At least 24 people have been reported missing.

The number of dead and missing continues to climb with each passing hour, according to CNN.

Although first responders including emergency workers and soldiers quickly made their way to the affected southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, their progress has been hampered by the hilly terrain and damage to the area.

Huge chucks of the mountain in certain areas have sheared off and fallen into the valleys, near the quake's epicenter in Lushan. Big boulders have landed on the roads, making emergency work difficult.

The earthquake hit just after 8 a.m. on Saturday, approximately 70 miles from the provincial capital of Chengdu. The quake was followed by numerous aftershocks, some of them as strong as a magnitude 5.1.

Flights at the Chengdu airport and high-speed rail operations were suspended temporarily.

College student Fan Xiaodong from Chengdu, who ended up on the streets with his dorm mates wearing only the clothes on their backs, said:

"I thought it was my roommates shaking the bed," he said. "But the shock became stronger soon, and it came to me that an earthquake happened."

The earthquake’s epicenter was located in the in Lushan country,” home to China's famous giant pandas and also home to the country's biggest panda research center.”

Tremors from the quake were felt as far as 190 miles away from the epicenter.

For more on the frantic search for survivors in the China earthquake, see the video accompanying this article.

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