Special Report: 7.1-Magnitude Earthquake hits China's Qinghai
Backgrounder: Quake-hit Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in Qinghai Province
|A 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit northwest China's Qinghai Province early on Wednesday, the China Earthquake Networks Center said. (Xinhua/Meng Lijing)
YUSHU, Qinghai, April 14 (Xinhua) -- About 300 people have died and 8,000 others were injured after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit northwest China's Qinghai Province early on Wednesday, a local official said.
Many others are still buried under the debris of collapsed houses near the epicenter, said Huang Limin, deputy secretary-general of the government of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu.
About 700 soldiers are now struggling to clear away the rubble and rescue the buried people, a spokesman with the Qinghai Provincial Emergency Office said.
More than 5,000 additional rescuers, including soldiers and medical workers have been dispatched to the quake-hit region, according to a news conference held by the Qinghai provincial government.
"Our first task is to save students. Schools are always places that have many people," said Kang Zifu, an army officer in the rescue operation in Yushu.