Toll from China quake estimated at 3,000 to 5,000

BEIJING (AP) – A massive earthquake struck central China on Monday and state media reported that as many as 5,000 people were killed in a single county while nearly 900 students were trapped under the rubble of their school.

The official Xinhua News Agency said 80 percent of the buildings had collapsed in Beichuan county in Sichuan province after the 7.8-magnitude quake.

Xinhua reported that 3,000 to 5,000 people had died in Beichuan, which has a population of 160,000, raising fears the overall death toll could increase sharply. Another 10,000 people were believed to be hurt.

The earthquake sent thousands of people rushing out of buildings and into the streets hundreds of miles away in Beijing and Shanghai. The temblor was felt as far away as Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand.

Read moreToll from China quake estimated at 3,000 to 5,000

Mysterious Earthquakes Off Oregon

(GRANTS PASS, Ore.) – Scientists listening to underwater microphones have detected an unusual swarm of earthquakes off central Oregon, something that often happens before a volcanic eruption – except there are no volcanoes in the area.

Scientists don’t know exactly what the earthquakes mean, but they could be the result of molten rock rumbling away from the recognized earthquake faults off Oregon, said Robert Dziak, a geophysicist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Oregon State University.

There have been more than 600 quakes over the past 10 days in a basin 150 miles southwest of Newport. The biggest was magnitude 5.4, and two others were more than magnitude 5.0, OSU reported.

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Tens of thousands camp out after Indonesian quake: official

JAKARTA, Feb 21, 2008 (AFP) – Tens of thousands of people camped outside their homes on the Indonesian island of Simeulue after a 7.5-magnitude quake that killed three, an official said Thursday.

The quake hit just off the remote island located near Sumatra on Wednesday, triggering panic across the region lashed by the earthquake-triggered 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed 168,000 people in Indonesia.

Read moreTens of thousands camp out after Indonesian quake: official