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.