Death Toll Rises to 1,144 in China Quake
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|Rescuers from Qingdao of east China's Shandong Province search for survivors among debris of Minzu Hotel at Gyegu Town of earthquake hit Yushu County of northwest China's Qinghai Province, April 16, 2010. The rescuers have been doing unremitting efforts to save people's lives during the "golden 72 hours" since the 7.1-magnitude quake struck Yushu early Wednesday. [Xinhua]|
The 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which shook the Yushu County in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu at 7:49 AM Wednesday, has left 11,744 people injured, including 1,192 serious cases, Xia Xueping, spokesman with the emergency rescue headquarters, told a press briefing late Friday.
Xia said the death toll rose markedly Friday because the expanding rescue forces recovered more bodies from the debris with the help of large rescue equipment.
In addition, the missing list climbed as the transient population in the business town were counted for the first time, he said.
A total of 1,179 serious cases had been transported by air and road to hospitals in Golmud and the provincial capital Xining in Qinghai and several other capitals in neighboring provinces.
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. It sits at about 4,000 meters above sea level.
More than 85 percent of houses in Gyegu, mostly made of mudbrick and wood, had collapsed.
Thousands of rescuers are fighting altitude sickness and chilly weather to race the time to reach the trapped by Saturday morning, the end of internationally accepted "72-hour golden chance" for the trapped to still survive.
(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2010)