China Death Toll Nears 40,000
Foreign medical workers arrive as focus shifts toward aiding survivors
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 20, 2008 8:28 AM CDT
Nurses look at Yuan Jiang, an earthquake survivor who'd been trapped under rubble for 72 hours, at a hospital in Mianyang, Sichuan province, China, Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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(Newser) – The official quake death toll climbed to nearly 40,000 in China’s Sichuan province today, the Guardian reports, as foreign medical teams and equipment arrived on the scene. Relief efforts began shifting away from finding survivors to aiding the more than 200,000 injured and 5 million left homeless. Russia, Taiwan, Japan, the US, Germany, and Italy had all sent rescue workers.

Survivors are still being found: two men trapped for more than 170 hours were pulled out of collapsed buildings yesterday, and one of three giant pandas that had gone missing from a nature reserve was returned to safety. The remaining two are still missing but are believed to be alive. As aftershocks continue, many locals are sleeping in cars and on the streets for safety.