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Panda Center Out of Contact After Major Quake in SW China

China Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in the worst quake-hit area of southwest China was out of contact, said the State Forestry Administration (SFA) on Monday.

All communication services linking the center with the outside were cut after a major earthquake hit the western part of Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, an SFA official told Xinhua.

The forestry department of Sichuan provincial government also had no information from the center, he said.

About 130 giant pandas are living in the center and another 150 wild pandas on the Wolong reserve.

The quake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale, jolted Wenchuan County at 2:28 PM on Monday. Tremors were felt over much of China.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2008)

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