China shaken by magnitude 7.9 earthquake


  • Randy Showstack


A magnitude 7.9 earthquake that struck the eastern Sichuan region of China on 12 May 2008 at 0628 UTC has caused more than 22,000 fatalities as of press time, and Chinese government officials have indicated that this figure could increase to 50,000. The quake also caused severe damage including landslides and cracks to 391 mostly small dams, according to an Associated Press report that cited the Xinhua News Agency and CCTV news. China's Ministry of Water Resources has dispatched several work teams to quake-hit localities “to prevent dams that were damaged by the earthquake from bursting and endangering the lives of residents,” the ministry stated.