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In Qinghai Province in China, earthquake kills hundreds and levels buildings

A China earthquake left at least 400 people dead and 10,000 injured, as rescue teams rushed to northwestern Qinghai Province.

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China earthquake: Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a collapsed building in Yushu county in western China's Qinghai province on Wednesday. A series of strong earthquakes struck a far western Tibetan area of China on Wednesday, killing at least 400 people and injuring more than 10,000.

AP

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At least 400 people were killed and 10,000 injured early Wednesday after an earthquake of at least 6.9 magnitude hit a mountainous agrarian part of Qinghai Province in northwestern China.

Striking around dawn while many locals were at home, the quake collapsed buildings in Jiegu Township, near the epicenter, trapping hundreds under rubble, Huang Limin, deputy secretary-general of the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, told the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

More than 85 percent of the houses in Jiegu, a town of 100,000 people, were destroyed, Zhuo Huaxia, a prefectural official told Xinhua: "The streets in Jiegu are thronged with panicked, injured people, with many bleeding in the head. Many students are buried under the debris due to building collapse at a vocational school."

With memories of the 2008 earthquake in neighboring Sichuan Province still strong, the government’s response to this disaster will be closely watched, particularly since the quake zone is in a poor area largely inhabited by ethnic Tibetans.

A day’s drive from main airport

By early evening, some rescue teams able to land at the damaged airport in Yushu, in southwestern Qinghai, were trying to deliver the first emergency medical supplies, food, and tents, China Central Television said.

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