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Death Toll in Kyigudo's Quake Rises to 1,144

  • VOA News

Death Toll in Kyigudo's Quake Rises to 1,144

Chinese state media say the death toll from a strong earthquake in northwestern China has risen to 1,144 as search for survivors continues.

The health ministry said Friday more than 1,000 critically injured survivors have been taken out of the quake-hit region to nearby hospitals with better medical conditions.

More than 11,000 were injured in Wednesday's 6.9 magnitude quake in Yushu region in the Qinghai province. Some 300 are still missing.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao wrapped-up his two day visit to the quake hit region Friday. He said the whole country is grieving with people of the quake-hit region, most of them Tibetans.

Rescuers, including Tibetan Buddhist monks, are searching the rubble for survivors. High altitude and freezing cold in Yushu region are hampering rescue efforts.

The earthquake and its aftershocks toppled poorly-built houses, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

President Hu Jintao is heading back to China after canceling his tour of Latin America.

Xinhua quoted a local official in Qinghai as saying more than 85 percent of houses collapsed in Jiegu, known to Tibetans as Gyegu. The official says large cracks have appeared on buildings that are still standing.

A crack in a reservoir in the disaster area is causing concern, with workers racing to prevent a potential flood.

Just two years ago, a massive 7.9 magnitude quake hit the neighboring Sichuan province, killing nearly 90,000 people.

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