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Qinghai Earthquake PDF Print

A frantic search for quake survivors in Qinghai

More than 2,046 are dead (193 missing) and 12,135 injured in the magnitude 7.1 quake in rural Qinghai province (in the Yushu area and Jiegu town). The region is 12,000 feet in elevation and is a full day's drive from a major airport.

Rescuers raced against time, distance, altitude and wind in a remote corner of the Tibetan plateau as they tried to rescue victims of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that killed at least 2,046  people and injured 12,135 others.

"What we need most are teams with special skills for earthquake rescue, because we're mostly digging ourselves right now," Pubu Cairen, head of the county's emergency response, told TV in a telephone interview.

In a dramatic televised rescue in the predawn hours, workers holding flashlights with their teeth used their hands to haul away debris covering a girl who appeared to be about 12 years old.

"Hold on, little girl. Do you want a drink of water?" one man called out to her.

"I cannot move my feet and hands," she answered in a tiny voice, then added: "Thank you, thanks, I'm so sorry to disturb you."

Newer concrete buildings, schools, the main hospital and a pagoda in a park collapsed or were heavily damaged in Jiegu. After a series of aftershocks rocked the landscape, more than 80% of the town's buildings were left uninhabitable.

"The people in this area are incredibly poor. Most of them are herders or farmers. The housing is very flimsy, just mud and stone. I can understand why it collapsed," said Susan Erdmann, a board member of Seva Canada, a charity that sets up eye clinics.

Erdmann has worked in the hospital that collapsed. "It is the only real hospital in the area," she said. "People used to walk for a day to get there. Even before this happened, their needs were tremendous."

Many schools collapsed as well. (LA Times).




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