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.
(Page 2 of 2)
In May 2008, 5,335 Chinese students were crushed when their schools collapsed in the 8.0 magnitude Sichuan earthquake, official data showed, sparking widespread public criticism of shoddily built government schools and an outcry over Beijing's reaction to the quake, which many perceived to be insufficient.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Comments on Wednesday to popular social networking site Tianya reflected some Internet users’ concern that the Yushu earthquake be handled differently.
"What have the officials in the earthquake administration have been doing?" asked "jiliganglove." Another Tianya user, nicknamed "shashishajingjie," wrote: "I am not going to donate any money any more … ultimately, the money goes to corrupt officials' pockets."
Repeated telephone calls to Yushu government offices rang unanswered on Wednesday afternoon, and mobile phone numbers obtained for a local rescue crew were busy for hours.
A spokesman with the Qinghai Provincial Emergency Office told Xinhua that 700 soldiers were struggling to clear rubble and save buried people. More than 5,000 additional rescuers, including soldiers and medical workers, were dispatched to Yushu, the Qinghai provincial government said in a news conference, Xinhua said.
CCTV said rescue teams were leaving for Qinghai from Beijing, from Qinghai's neighbors, the Tibet Autonomous Region and Sichuan Province, and from other airports around the country.
One of China’s poorest provinces
Qinghai is one of China's poorest provinces, contributing less than 0.3 percent of gross domestic product through output worth 96.2 billion yuan ($13.8 billion) in 2008.
Major industries are shepherding, copper, and coal mining, and the production of iron, steel, oil and natural gas.
Zhaxi, a Tibetan student from Yushu studying in at Beijing Nationalities University, told the Monitor that all attempts at communication with his parents, five brothers, and a sister, back home had proved futile on Wednesday.
"I tried everything, but I still couldn't contact them. The situation is very serious over there right now. I don't know what to do. It doesn't make sense for me to go back right now. I have been looking for every single piece of information on Yushu. The only thing I can do right now is to wait," he said over the phone in Beijing.
Zhang Yajun contributed to this report.