Workers Can't Reach China Quake's Center

Damaged roads stop authorities from getting in to help; toll rises
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2008 4:14 PM CDT
Nurses take care of patients at a temporary aid post after they were evacuated from a hospital after an earthquake in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province Monday, May 12, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Authorities are unable to reach areas at the very center of China's massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake, CNN reports, due mainly to badly damaged roads. The death toll from the quake is now estimated at over 8,600, with thousands more injured, with those numbers figuring to rise as rescue efforts penetrate closer to the epicenter.

"Particularly in the more remote, the more mountainous part where this has taken place, a lot of the buildings are built on sediments that are quite unstable," a geophysics professor tells CNN of what awaits rescue efforts. "They're probably liquifying, causing the buildings to collapse."