7.1-magnitude earthquake hits China’s Qinghai Province, hundreds feared dead

Rescue teams from the central government and neighboring provinces have been sent to northwest China’s Qinghai Province, hit by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake Wednesday morning.

A 15-member rescue team from the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) has been sent to Yushu, a Tibetan autonomous prefecture in western part of Qinghai, the CEA said in a statement to Xinhua.

In addition, a 62-member rescue team of the provincial earthquake department in Qinghai has been on their way to Yushu, while 40 rescuers have left Qamdo, in neighboring Tibet, for the quake-hit region, the statement said.

"Rescuers in neighboring Gansu and Shaanxi provinces are making preparations for providing aid," the statement said.

At least 67 people died and many others were buried under the debris after the earthquake hit the Yushu County in the Yushu prefecture at 7:49 a.m.

More than 85 percent of the houses in Jiegu Township, which is near the epicenter, had collapsed.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs told Xinhua in a press release that it will send 5,000 tents, 50,000 cotton coats and 50,000 quilts to the quake-hit region.

The provincial government also arranged 5,000 tents, the statement said.

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