China: Earthquakes prompt aid effort


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The Independent Online

Survivors of a series of earthquakes that killed 81 people and injured more than 800 in a mountainous area of south-western China were desperately waiting for more aid to arrive yesterday as jolting aftershocks hindered rescue efforts.

The latest victim was a two-year-old child who was hit by a falling wall as an aftershock struck on Saturday night, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

The first earthquakes struck on Friday in a region of small farms and mines near the border between Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, where some of China's poorest people live. They toppled thousands of homes and sent boulders cascading across roads. Authorities evacuated more than 200,000 villagers.

The area was still being jolted by aftershocks yesterday, raising fears of more injuries and fatalities. State media said the army and police had mobilised more than 3,200 personnel to help rescue efforts, along with some 4,000 militiamen.