1 700 aftershocks rattle quake-hit China

2013-04-21 22:28
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Lushan - Chinese seismologists say at least 1 700 aftershocks have followed since the tremor measured at 7.0 magnitude flattened villages in southwest China.

Thousands of rescue workers were combing through flattened villages in southwest China on Sunday in a race to find survivors from the powerful quake.

At least 200 have died and more than 11 300 people were injured.  Scores remained missing.

Dressed in bright orange uniforms, rescuers battled their way up mountain paths strewn with wreckage to reach isolated parts of Sichuan province on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau.

Troops had worked through the night, searching villages where houses had been destroyed for survivors and treating those injured in the quake.

Officials said more than 1.5 million had been affected.

China's new Premier Li Keqiang rushed to the disaster zone to oversee rescue efforts in his first major public test since taking office in March, before returning to Beijing late on Sunday, China Radio National reported.

The rescue operation was hampered by huge queues of traffic - some stretching back for 20km - clogging roads into the disaster zone.

Boulders the size of cars littered streets in the Lushan county, the epicentre of the earthquake.

Firefighters helped by sniffer dogs have pulled 91 people alive from the rubble, Xinhua said, citing the Ministry of Public Security.

At Lushan People's Hospital, a steady stream of ambulances continued to arrive in the early hours of Sunday. Most victims were taken to tents erected in the grounds of the hospital, where doctors treated the injured.

Read more on:    china  |  earthquakes

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