China Quake Toll Tops 13,000

Death toll expected to rise, may end up in six figures
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2008 3:10 PM CDT
In this photo provided by Xinhua news agency, Chinese air force soldiers prepare to board a plane heading for the quake-hit area, in Beijing, capital of China,Tuesday May 13, 2008. Twenty-two air force...   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The official death toll for the Chinese earthquake shot past 13,000 today and is expected to jump sharply after the full extent of the devastation is accounted for, Reuters reports. In one town with a prequake population of 12,000, only 2,000 survived; in all, 60,000 are missing in Wenchuan, the quake’s epicenter.

Chinese troops arriving in Wenchuan’s Yingxiu township found themselves unprepared: "They could hear people under the debris calling for help but no one could, because there were no professional rescue teams," a local official told state television. "What we most need is medicine. There is no medicine, there are no doctors and after such a long time, no food."