Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Monday's 7.9-magnitude quake in Sichuan province has killed around 12,000 people so far, according to the civil affairs ministry, a figure expected to soar as more details emerge.

China mobilised its 2.3 million-strong armed forces to lead the search and rescue effort, but attempts to reach the worst-hit areas were badly disrupted by torrential rain and the sheer scale of the damage.

Troops and rescue teams struggled by air, land and water to reach areas of southwestern China stricken by the huge quake that demolished schools, homes and factories.

The quake struck in the middle of the afternoon when schools, factories and offices were full, contributing to the high toll. The toll included some foreigners. Xinhua reported 37 tourists were killed when a landslide hit their coach, while officials said they also lost contact with 15 visiting Britons.

World powers including the United States, the European Union, Russia and Japan rallied round with sympathy and pledges of help, which Beijing said it welcomed.

With all this happening ,many sporting body were worried about the condition of the Olympic village. However, Beijing Olympic officials insisted venues for the summer Games were safe and the Olympic torch continued its odyssey with a relay Tuesday in the southeast province of Fujian.

updated from channelnewsasia

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