Nearly 19,000 people are reported buried in rubble in just one Chinese town, the state media said today, as the death toll from yesterday's 7.9 earthquake in Sichuan province climbed to 12,000. Overwhelmed rescuers worked frantically to rescue as many as possible, impeded by rain and mudslides, while hundreds of children still beneath a collapsed school have been given up for dead, reports the New York Times.
Tens of thousand of troops have been sent in to grapple with China's worst disaster in over 30 years. The area continues to be rocked by aftershocks. “We left with nothing but the clothes we’re wearing,” said one woman, cradling her infant son. “We don’t dare stay in our homes.” Premier Wen Jiabao has flown into the area to oversee operations and China is appealing for all citizens to donate blood.