13 April 2010 23:49 GMT
A major earthquake (M 6.9) hit the province Qinghai in China this night at 23:49 GMT. At least 300 hundred people have died and thousands are feared hurt.
The quake occurred in a mountainous region in southern Qinghai near Tibet, according to the U.S. seismological USGS strength 6.9. The official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported the strength with 7.1. It was followed by several strong aftershocks, with strengths from 5.2 to 5.8. The epicenter was 380 kilometers southeast of Golmud city at a depth of ten kilometers, according to USGS . In this rural area are mostly living farmers and sheperds.
Authorities, witnesses and state media reported numerous victims. "Many people are injured. Rescue workers try to get them out under the rubble, "said one resident in the affected region of Yushu. Large numbers of single-storey houses have collapsed.Higher houses had stood, but were badly damaged. The government sent troops into the region.
In the cities Yushu and Jiegu 80 to 90 percent of the houses are destroyed after radio reports. "My house shook violently, then it collapsed," reported the deputy head of news in TV from Yushu, Karsum Nyima, the is unhurt. "The houses here are mostly built of wood and clay," the official said on state television. "Almost all the houses have collapsed." He described the situation as chaotic. "The people are all on the streets, standing before the ruins of their houses." Many were desperate searching for relatives.
Many residents of the remote area could be left without shelter in temperatures that hover near freezing in Yushu, and even colder in the high mountain villages.
The Tibetan plateau is regularly shaken by earthquakes, but casualties are usually minimal because so few people live there.
The region is now lacking tents, medical equipment, medicine and medical workers.
See video report here: