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Snowstorm hits northwest China quake zone

2010-04-22 13:56 BJT

Special Report: 7.1-magnitude Quake Hit Qinghai, China |

YUSHU, Qinghai, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Heavy snow and fierce winds hit northwestern China Thursday, creating new challenges for quake survivors and rescuers.

Snow started to fall at around 5:05 a.m. in Gyegu Township, epicenter of the 7.1 quake, in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The snow covering the township was more than 3-cm thick as of 8 a.m. Thursday, said Tsering Tashi, deputy head of Yushu's meteorological bureau.

The snow is expected to stop Thursday afternoon. But more snow is forecasted for Friday or Saturday.

Survivors are sheltering from the freezing gale in thin tents behind the debris of the devastated town, about 4,000 meters above sea level.

Roads to the quake zone are covered with snow and ice, affecting the transportation of rescue resources.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the 7.1-magnitude quake, which struck the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu one week ago, had left 2,183 dead, 12,135 injured, of whom 1,434 were in serious condition, the rescue headquarters said.

Editor: Jin Lin | Source: Xinhua