Rescuers struggle to find survivors in China quake, at least 186 dead, more than 11,000 injured

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RESCUE EFFORTS. Medical and rescue personnel help an elderly man injured following an earthquake in southwest China’s Sichuan province. AFP photo/Xinhua News Agency
Thousands of rescue workers combed through flattened villages in southwest China, Sunday, in a race to find survivors from a powerful quake as the toll of dead and missing rose past 200. But therescue operation was hampered by huge queues of traffic — some stretching back for 20 kilometers (12 miles) — clogging roads into the disaster zone. China’s new Premier Li Keqiang says the first 24 hours was “the golden time for saving lives.” Boulders the size of cars littered streets in Lushan county, the epicenter of the earthquake. More than 1,100 aftershocks have followed since the quake struck Saturday morning. Chinese seismologists registered the tremor at 7.0 magnitude while the US Geological Survey gave it as 6.6. At least 179 people have been confirmed dead, 24 are missing and nearly 11,500 were injured. the Xinhua news agency, citing the Ministry of Public Security says firefighters have pulled 91 people alive from the rubble. Five years ago, a Sichuan earthquake left more than 90,000 people dead or missing. Earthquakes frequently strike China’s southwest.


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