China: Death toll rises in Gansu earthquake

CINA_-_GansuAt least 89 people have died as a result of the powerful earthquake that struck the city of Dingxi yesterday. Rescue workers look for survivors under the rubble, but landslides and mud hamper emergency operations.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – The death toll from the earthquake that hit the city of Dingxi, Gansu Province, China, yesterday has risen to 89. Added to this are about 800 wounded, dozens in serious condition, and at least 5 missing. The authorities have launched a massive rescue plan, which is being hampered by landslides caused by the mud.
At the moment there are two helicopters in the area and at least 3 thousand soldiers, policemen and members of rescue teams. The earthquake, however, has caused the collapse of more than 9 thousand houses, transforming the affected area into a pile of rubble. To make matters worse there is the mud, for the most part composed of loess – a fine sand, yellow in color, which thanks to its chemical composition penetrates everywhere.

According to rescuers possibilities of finding anyone alive beneath the rubble are “poor”, because the two main shocks of yesterday morning were followed by more than 420 aftershocks, which caused the collapse of the last roofs left standing after the main earthquake.

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