23 killed in China earthquake (Lead)

April 14th, 2010 - 10:34 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, April 14 (IANS) At least 23 people were killed Wednesday in an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale in northwest China’s Qinghai province, authorities said.
The quake struck the Yushu prefecture at 7.49 a.m. at a depth of about 33 km, the China Earthquake Networks Center reported.

At least three aftershocks have been reported.

“Many are buried in the collapsed houses. There are still lots of others who are injured and being treated at local hospitals,” Zhuohuaxia, a publicity official with the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, told Xinhua news agency.

Wu Yong, commander of the Yushu military area command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, said: “Our soldiers have pulled 10 people from the collapsed houses, but four of them had died. The death toll may rise further as lots of houses collapsed.”

“We are now putting up tents and transporting oxygen to prepare for treating the injured. But roads leading to the airport have been damaged, hampering the rescue efforts.”

Telecommunications were temporarily cut after the quake.

Two rescue teams from Qinghai and Tibet have been dispatched to the quake-hit region, said a spokesperson with the China Earthquake Administration.

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