Survivors Struggle as China Quake Toll Hits 600
People of Tibetan region left without shelter in freezing temperatures
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2010 6:00 AM CDT
Survivors in Gyegu emerge in an open area, surrounded by collapsed buildings, after yesterday's earthquake.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Tens of thousands of survivors spent the night in freezing temperatures after yesterday's earthquake on the Tibetan Plateau. The Chinese military is rushing in tents, food, and medical supplies, but the cold temperatures mean hope is fading for those still trapped in the ruins of schools and monasteries, Reuters reports. The death toll stands at 600 but is certain to rise sharply, authorities say.

In the hardest-hit city, Gyegu, most of the population is formerly nomadic herdsmen resettled under a Chinese government policy blamed for 2008's unrest. Tibetan monks have joined the rescue effort in force. "We were the first to help when the earthquake came," said one Buddhist monk digging through rubble in Yushu. "We monks are here to help the people just as much as the government."