Death toll rises to 180 in China quake

Last Updated: Sun, Apr 21, 2013 07:13 hrs

The death toll in China earthquake, that measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale when it had hit southwest China's Sichuan province on Saturday, has risen to 180 and about 10,000 people were injured, officials said on Sunday.

According to the state-run news agency Xinhua, twenty-four people are reported missing.

The powerful earthquake impacted more than 1.5 million people in southwest China´s Sichuan Province, said the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs here on Sunday.

The quake has affected 69 counties in the province, Xinhua reported stating the statement from the ministry.

"A large number of buildings collapsed and were damaged in the quake-hit area. The authorities are still checking the details since the communication and transport are not fully available," it said.

The quake has also affected neighbouring Chongqing Municipality and Yunnan Province, while damaging about 400 buildings. Eight buildings collapsed in Chongqing and around 900 buildings were damaged in Yunnan, the statement said.

More than 2,300 firemen have been engaged in rescue work, Xinhua reported citing Ministry of Public Security.

The earthquake rocked Lushan county at Ya´an City in Sichuan province at 8.02 am local time, the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) said.

Some 1,165 aftershocks have been detected, CENC said.

The epicentre of the earthquake was located at latitude 30.2 degree north and longitude 102.9 degree east, said the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS, however, had said the magnitude of the quake was 6.6 on the Richter Scale.

"Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday ordered troops in the quake-hit zone to make ´every possible effort´ to rescue," Xinhua reported.

"Premier Li Keqiang arrived at the epicenter Saturday afternoon. He convened emergency meetings during his flight to direct quake-relief work," it said.

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