7.8 Earthquake Rocks China

Strikes near city of 10 million; 5 reported dead
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 12, 2008 3:05 AM CDT
This image from TV shows a street scene in Beijing shortly after 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck western China.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A major 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked central China today, with shaking felt a thousand miles away in Beijing, and in Thailand and Vietnam. Exact damage or injuries were not known, but the quake hit about 60 miles from Chengdu, a city of 10 million in China's Sichuan province, reports CNN. "This is a very dangerous earthquake," said a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey. Five people are reported dead, with 100 injured.

President Hu Jintao called for "all-out" efforts to rescue victims, and both troops and the Chinese premier Wen Jibao were en route to direct recovery efforts from the area. "There do not seem to be major damages. Some building are cracked, but nothing major, from what we can see," a BBC correspondent reported. "The quake was really strong, continuous. Two aftershocks could be felt. Many people on the street."