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China Quake Destroys Schools, Killing Dozens

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At least 66 students and 10 teachers were confirmed dead in the 7.1-Magnitude earthquake that shook Yushu in northwest China's Qinghai Province Wednesday, local authorities said Thursday.

The dead students included 22 from a vocational school, 11 from a primary School and 32 from another primary school, the provincial education chief Wang Yubo said at a press conference Thursday morning.

"Schools are still searching for dozens more who are believed to be trapped in the debris," said Wang.

Dozens of grieved parents were waiting for news Thursday on the campus of Yushu Vocational School, where the girls' dorms and part of the multimedia center toppled in the quake.

"When the quake struck, the students had just finished their morning exercise. Most of them were having breakfast in the school canteen or cleaning their classrooms," said the school principal Kunga Tenzin. "Still, some were trapped in the dorms."

Ayang, a man in his mid forties, waited a day and a night for news of his 21-year-old son.

The quake, which struck Yushu County in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu at 7:49 a.m. Wednesday, destroyed at least 11 schools, said Wang. "It toppled 36,562 square meters of school buildings and seriously damaged another 61,574 square meters."

"We're yet to decide whether the national college entrance exam, scheduled for early June, will be postponed in the quake-hit areas."

More than 1,000 students are scheduled to sit for the test this year, he said.

As of 9:00 AM Thursday, the quake had killed 617 people and left 313 missing. Another 9,110 people were injured.

(Xinhua News Agency April 15, 2010)

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