News / Asia

China Quake Rescue Efforts Continue as Death Toll Passes 400

  • Rescuers prepare to carry away a young victim on a stretcher near a destroyed house following a massive earthquake in the town of Longtoushan in Ludian County in southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • A woman washes the feet for a crying child under a tent at a quake zone at Longtoushan, Dudian county, in Zhaotong, Yunnan province, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • A villager carries her belongings and walks through the rubbles from destroyed houses following a massive earthquake in the town of Longtoushan in Ludian County, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • School text books lie on the rubbles after a masive earthquake in the town of Longtoushan in Ludian County, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • Rescue workers are transported to an earthquake zone on a front loader in Zhaotong, Yunnan province, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • Rescuers try to retrieve a trapped victim's body from a collapsed house following a massive earthquake in the town of Longtoushan in Ludian County in southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • A front loader carrying medicines arrives at a quake zone at Longtoushan, Dudian county, in Zhaotong, Yunnan province, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • People suffering from severe injuries are transported onto a train heading for Kunming to receive better medical treatment at a railway station in Zhaotong, Yunnan province, Aug. 5, 2014.
  • A man carries a picture as he stands among debris in the Longtoushan township of Ludian county, Yunnan province, Aug. 4, 2014
  • Villagers rest under a makeshift tent next to damaged houses in Ludian county, Zhaotong, Yunnan province, Aug. 4, 2014.
VOA News

Chinese rescue workers continue searching for survivors in the thousands of homes that collapsed following a powerful earthquake Sunday in the southwestern province of Yunnan.

Authorities on Tuesday said the death toll has risen to 410, with 12 people still missing from the 6.1-magnitude quake that was centered near the remote town of Longtoushan.

Lieutenant Colonel Yang Tianjun, who is helping lead rescue operations, said he has not given up hope that some victims who are buried under the rubble have survived.

"The priority for us now is search and rescue, and we hope to find some survivors. This place (Longquan Community) is the most devastated place in the town and many victims are buried in the debris, so this is the main area for us to search and rescue. We just found another two bodies of earthquake victims, there are two more victims down there and we will try to drag them out," said Yang. 

The official Xinhua news agency says the quake destroyed 80,000 homes and damaged another 124,000. Nearly a quarter of a million people have been displaced.

More than 18,000 rescue workers have been deployed to the area.

Efforts to send tents, water, food and other supplies have been hampered by heavy thunderstorms, which are expected to continue for the next several days, causing landslides and floods.

Xinhua says damaged roads forced Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to walk nearly five kilometers to reach Longtoushan Monday. Mr. Li vowed that no effort would be spared to save lives.

The news agency says it was the worst earthquake to hit the region in 14 years.

Southwestern China is frequently struck by earthquakes.  In 2012 an earthquake in the Yunnan region killed at least 80 people.  

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