900 Buried After Powerful China Quake– Death Toll In Thousands!

Death Toll Rises to 8,500!

Here is a frightening video taken during the quake taken by a Sichuan University student:

900 high school students were reportedly buried alive after their school collapsed.

A girl is evacuated following an earthquake in Chengdu, Sichuan province May 12, 2008. (REUTERS/China Daily)

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit central China today.
FOX News is reporting that 900 students were buried and that the death toll is expected to soar:

A powerful, magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck mountainous central China on Monday, killing five people when two primary schools and a water tower collapsed, state media reported.

Four children died when their schools in Chongqing municipality collapsed, the official Xinhua News Agency said. More than 100 students were injured, including two who were seriously hurt, the report said.

One person was killed after the temblor toppled a water tower in neighboring Sichuan province, Xinhua said.

The statement did not say how many people were injured or give any details. The area has a population of about 110,000 residents, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The official Xinhua News Agency said 3,000 to 5,000 people had died in Beichuan county in Sichuan province- AP.

Rescue workers have been trying to reach students of Juyuan Middle School. (BBC)
Teenagers are trapped under the rubble in Dujiangyan City.
The BBC reported:

There are harrowing reports from the scene of the collapse in Dujiangyan city – about 100km (60 miles) from the epicentre in Wenchuan county.

Teenagers buried beneath the rubble of the three-storey school building were struggling to break free, while others were crying out for help, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Parents were watching as cranes excavated the site. Villagers rushed to help with the rescue.

The New York Times reported that “rows of houses” had collapsed near the quake’s epicenter. In 1976, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Tangshan, located roughly 70 miles from Beijing where more than 240,000 people were killed.

UPDATE: 80 percent of the Beichuan county was destroyed from the quake!
The AP reported:

Xinhua said 80 percent of the buildings had collapsed in Sichuan province’s Beichuan county after the quake, raising fears that the overall death toll could increase sharply.

State media said a chemical plant in Shifang city had cratered, burying hundreds of people and spilling more than 80 tons of toxic liquid ammonia from the site.

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