China Earthquakes Kill At Least 300

Chinese officials reported that more than 300 people have died after a number of strong quakes shook Southern Qinghai, a mountainous area near Tibet. The U.S. Geological Survey said the strongest of the earthquakes was a 6.9-magnitude temblor. China’s Earthquakes Networks Center recorded the same quake as a 7.1.

Thousands of people were also injured in the series of quakes that destroyed communication lines and other infrastructures in Yushu county. Officials said many others are feared to have been buried as houses were toppled in the county of close to 90,000 people. The military in the area has been dispatched to lead the rescue operations but efforts to reach survivors are hindered by the lack of equipment, local media reported. A senior military official said roads were damaged by the quakes, making it harder for relief goods to reach the victims.

The USGS said the epicenter of the strongest quake was six miles below the ground in the city of Golmud. Two more aftershocks followed in the next 12 minutes after the first quake.