Special Report: 7.1-Magnitude Earthquake hits China's Qinghai
Backgrounder: Quake-hit Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in Qinghai Province
Backgrounder: Powerful earthquakes in Qinghai Province since 2001
|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 400 people have died and 10,000 others were injured after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit northwest China's Qinghai Province early on Wednesday, local authorities said.
Many people are still buried under the debris of collapsed houses in the Gyegu Town near the epicenter in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in southern Qinghai, said Huang Limin, deputy secretary-general of the prefecture government.
The strong quake and a string of aftershocks, with the biggest one being 6.3 magnitude, have toppled houses, temples, gas stations and electric poles, triggered landslides, damaged roads, cut power supplies and disrupted telecommunications. A reservoir was also cracked, where workers are trying to prevent the outflow of water.
Gyegu, also known as Jiegu, is the seat of the Yushu prefecture government. The town has a population of about 100,000, including permanent residents and migrant people.
"I can see injured people everywhere. The biggest problem now is that we lack tents, we lack medical equipment, medicine and medical workers," said Zhuohuaxia, a publicity official in Yushu.
More than 85 percent of the houses in Gyegu, almost all made of wood and earthen walls, had collapsed, he said.
President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have ordered local authorities to go all out to save the disaster-stricken people.