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China Earthquake: Death Toll Rises

Brianna Sacks |
April 20, 2013 | 8:39 a.m. PDT


156 are confirmed dead and about 5,500 are injured after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern China Saturday, demolishing the mostly rural area of the Sichuan provence.

It is the worst earthquake China has seen in three years, Reuters reports, and rescuers are having a difficult time getting to people in the worst-affected areas because of continuous aftershocks and landslides.

More than 6,000 soldiers and doctors have been deployed to the region, according to BBC News.

The quake struck at 8:02 a.m. Beijing time in Longmen Village, a town in the epicenter Lushan county. Residents are now suffering from loss of water and electricity. Roads to the area are cut off, and are being repaired.

A total of 152,000 people in Ya'an city are affected by the earthquake.

READ MORE: In Latest Earthquake, Chinese Heed Lessons From 2008 Earthquake

The earthquake was felt strongly in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport temporarily closed, and flights remain delayed. Neighboring provinces including Guizhou, Gansu, Shaanxi and Yunnan also felt the quake.

Residents of Sichuan reported on Sina Weibo, China’s leading social media site, that phone receptions are poor in the earthquake region. They are using tools like Weibo and WeChat for communication.

READ MORE: 7.0 Magnitude Earthquake In China Kills At Least 113

A resident in Chengdu, 140 km (85 miles) from Ya'an city, told Xinhua he was on the 13th floor of a building when he felt the quake. The building shook for about 20 seconds and he saw tiles fall from nearby buildings.



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