China quake buries at least 10,000 people in one city: Xinhua

DUJIANGYAN, China, May 13, 2008 (AFP) – At least 10,000 people remained buried Tuesday in a single city in China’s Sichuan province following a massive earthquake, Xinhua news agency said.

The 10,000 were missing in the city of Mianzhu, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) southeast of the epicentre of the 7.8-magnitude quake that struck on Monday, it said.

The report also mentioned a separate “toll” of 1,500 for the city, without specifying whether the figure referred to deaths or all casualties.

State media had reported earlier on Tuesday that a steam turbine factory in Mianzhu’s Hanwang township was destroyed by the quake as up to 6,000 people were at work in the factory.

Hundreds were feared buried on the factory grounds, which also included two affiliated schools that suffered heavy damage, the China News Service reported.

The overall confirmed death toll from the quake has risen to nearly 10,000, state media said earlier Tuesday, quoting the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The quake struck in densely populated Sichuan shortly just before 2:30 pm (0630 GMT) on Monday.

It was the worst to hit China since the 1976 earthquake in the city of Tangshan near Beijing,