China quake toll worse than feared

The destruction from a 6.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Sichuan province, southwest China, on Saturday afternoon is much worse than initially feared. The quake damaged 258,000 homes and killed at least 38 people, state media said.

The earthquake, which was centred near the city of Panzhihua, damaged roads, reservoirs, bridges and hundreds of schools, forcing the evacuation of more than 40,000 people in the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan. In one part of Sichuan, about 660 school buildings were destroyed, the report said.

The provincial weather observatory said rain is expected this week, which could cause problems for the relief effort.

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