China Death Toll Exceeds 12,000 After Devastating Quake
At least 4,800 people remain buried in buried in Mianzhu, 60 miles from the epicenter.
Officials are struggling to get to the victims.
A boy is rescued from the debris of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Dujiangyan, Sichuan province May 13, 2008. [China Daily]
The China Daily reported that the death toll in Schuan Provinc alone exceeded over 12,000 by Tuesday afternoon:
Some 1,300 rescue and relief troops arrived for the first time at Wenchuan County, the epicenter of Monday’s major quake, as death toll in Sichuan Province alone hes exceeded 12,000 by 4:00 pm Tuesday.
The military doctors and soldiers have started to search for survivors and treat injured people at the Yinxiu County of Wenchuan, 20 kilometers from Dujiangyan city.
The road from Dujiangyan, a city northwest of the provincial capital Chengdu, to Wenchuan, the epicenter, was blocked by rocks and mud slides, holding up rescue, medical and other disaster relief teams. Sichuan provincial officials said more than one third of the buildings and houses in Wenchuan were leveled off. The casualties there remain unknown.
Tuesday morning, Premier Wen Jiabao ordered to remove barriers and open up roads to epicenter before 12:00 pm Tuesday after a strong earthquake jolted southwest China’s Sichuan Province Monday afternoon.
Soldiers from the Chengdu Military Command have chosen to walk to the areas with heaviest damage inflicted by the quake.
The 7.8-magnitude tremor devastated a region of small cities and towns set amid steep and forestry hills northwestern of Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu. Striking in mid-afternoon on Monday, it emptied office buildings across the country in Beijing and Shanghai and could be felt as far away as Vietnam and Thailand.
The death toll exceeds 12,000 by 4 pm Tuesday in Sichuan Province alone, according to local government. At least 4,800 people remained buried in Mianzhu, 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the epicenter, Xinhua said, citing local authorities.
China television has video (here) of the rescue of one buried child.
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua news agency, rescuers try to help a stranded student out of the debris at Wudu Primary School at Hanwang town in Mianzhu city, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, Tuesday, May 13, 2008. (AP)