400 Dead As 7.1 Earthquake Hits Western China and Thousands Are Missing


A huge earthquake in Western China has killed at least 400 people and many thousands more lay trapped beneath the rubble. 10,000 have been injured according to reports coming out of this area where houses are made from mud and straw. Thousands of injured people stand in the wind and freezing temperatures trying to find their loved ones.

Gillian Wong, Associated Press Writer for this area of China said that excavators were not yet available to dig through the mud, straw and rubble and roads leading to the closest airports were badly damaged. With no infrastructure left rescue operations are slow. Most of the telephone lines are down and there have been six aftershocks recorded by USGS, the highest measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale.

It is two years since the nearby region of Sichuan was hit by a quake measuring 7.9, which killed more than 90,000 people. Several schools were flattened and the main problem was found to be poor building design and lack of adherence to regulations which are in place now but seem to be ignored.

Currently 700 soldiers are attempting to rescue as many people as possible with very limited equipment, as they wait for reinforcements to arrive. Tents, coats and blankets have been sent to the area which is suffering from high winds and winter temperatures. More aftershocks are expected in the next few days.

Perhaps there is a need here for a similar system to the Quake Chasers network developed in California which utilizes laptops to predict earthquakes. China is expanding rapidly where technology and the internet is concerned and a similar system might just give a little more warning.