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2nd Night Quake Survivors Still Fighting Freezing Temperatures

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Many survivors are still trembling in the chilly temperatures and rescuers will have another sleepless night as the second night after the fatal quake approaches in the small town in northwest China's Qinghai Province.

Thousands of rescuers are fighting against altitude sickness, chilly weather, strong winds and frequent aftershocks Thursday to dig through rubble and reach survivors of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that has left 760 dead after it struck the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in southern Qinghai Province early on Wednesday.

Lamas rescuing the buried, releasing the dead

"We had dug out dozens of people. Five of them were alive," said a 25-year-old Tibetan lama named Neume Dorje who came from Sershul Lamasery in Sershul County in Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze in Sichuan Province.

Neume Dorje is one of the 700 lamas who traveled from the lamasery in Garze, southeast to Yushu prefecture, by buses, trucks and any vehicles available Wednesday afternoon.

They have been devoted to rescuing the buried ever since they arrived.

"We do not have any tools, except for our hands," Dorje said, in a tired voice in one of the temporary tents.

His face and maroon robe were covered with dust as strong winds carrying dirt from the mountains.

"We take turns to nap, only covered by our robes. We cannot stop. The rescuing work should be kept going round the clock," he said.

The young lama said they would continue to stay. "We save the living and release the souls of the dead," he said.

Many people are still buried under the debris of collapsed houses in the hardest-hit Gyegu Town near the epicenter, the seat of the Yushu prefecture government and home to 100,000 people, after the 7.1-magnitude quake, which struck the prefecture Wednesday, also toppled 15,000 residential buildings and forced 100,000 residents to be relocated.

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