Rescuers Face Rough Conditions And Rising Death Toll In China

April 15, 2010 5:37 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 8:22 pm

Residents carry an injured survivor who was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building on April 15, 2010 after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Yushu county in northwest China's Qinghai province on April 14. (AFP/Getty Images)
Residents carry an injured survivor who was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building on April 15, 2010 after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Yushu county in northwest China's Qinghai province on April 14. (AFP/Getty Images)
Earthquake victims in China’s small village of Jiegu are suffering through a multitude of rough conditions following the April 14 earthquake in China. Things are extremely difficult for rescuers and those left without homes after the town was hit by a series of three earthquakes that claimed the lives of an estimated 760 people.

The Associated Press reported that victims are being flown to the Qinghai hospital in droves leaving officials little time to get an accurate count of how many people have been injured, currently estimated at over 11,000. After hours of intense labor the confirmed death toll has jumped from 400 to 760. Somewhere between 200 and 300 people are reported missing.

Jiegu is on the mountainous Tibetan plateau where the nights are cold and modern medical supplies are limited due to the increase in demand. The majority of the small huts in the town have been destroyed, in addition to the schools that collapsed claiming the lives of 66 children and 10 teachers.

Director Pu Wu from the Jinba Project made this statement to Time Magazine about the troubles of the rescue mission: "The situation here is difficult. Most of the buildings have collapsed. A lot of people are seriously injured. We are scared. We are all camping outside and waiting for more tents to come."

The collapse of the poorly built school is reminiscent of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan where thousands of children died when their schools collapsed.

Not only has the death count changed but the size of the seismic reading of the largest of the earthquake has changed as well. U.S. officials reported it as a 6.9 while Chinese specialists are claiming that it was a 7.1. According to the United States Geological Survey Jiegu was hit by a series of three earthquakes the first being a 6.9 followed by a 5.3 and a 5.8.