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Dead, 175 Injured as Quake Strikes China's Sichuan

Dead, 175 Injured as Quake Strikes China's Sichuan”

Stranded tourists queue up as they get ready to be evacuated by bus from the InterContinental Resort Jiuzhai Paradise hotel in Jiuzhaigou County yesterday.

More than 70,000 people were evacuated after a strong natural disaster left them stranded in southwest China's Sichuan Province, said the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) on Thursday.

Jiuzhaigou: The death toll from a 7.0-magnitude natural disaster that struck Jiuzhaigou county in Sichuan province on Tuesday night rose to 20 and the tally of the injured rose to 431, including 18 seriously.

Almost 60,000 people - around half of which were tourists - were evacuated from quake-hit towns and villages Wednesday.

Yu Qian, a local taxation bureau official, told Xinhua that she felt strong shaking that sent her and her two children rushing from their home on the fifth floor.

Most of the injured were being treated at the county hospital, while some of the seriously wounded were transferred to hospitals in the cities of Mianyang and the provincial capital of Chengdu, according to the commission.

Over 800 workers are combing villages in search of anyone still trapped, according to the provincial quake relief headquarters. "Landslides are pretty bad, rocks keep falling down".

No buildings collapsed in the quake, but about 1,680 houses were damaged.

Around 6am, the first emergency rescue flight, carrying a team of almost 100, arrived at the Jiuzhai-Huanglong Airport, the transport hub for relief work.

Victims of the severe natural disaster are sent to hospital.

Rain is expected to fall in much of the Sichuan Basin tonight, with torrential rain forecast in the northwestern and part of the southern regions of the basin.

Authorities said 1,680 private homes across Jiuzhaigou's 17 townships suffered varying degrees of damage.

Photos have gone viral on Chinese social media showing how the quake has turned the once majestic waterfalls into an ugly hill of dirt and mud.

The 2008 quake set off deadly landslides in the region, obliterating towns and damming rivers - creating menacing "quake lakes" that forced the evacuation of thousands downstream as the army worked to clear the blockages.

The area's hard geography - and travel restrictions quickly imposed by authorities - have so far prevented a clear picture of the scale of the disaster from emerging, but there were no reports of catastrophic damage or large-scale casualties by Wednesday afternoon.



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