7.1-magnitude quake hits China

About 300 people have died and 8,000 others were injured after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit northwest China's Qinghai Province early on Wednesday, a local official said.

Many others are still buried under the debris of collapsed houses near the epicenter, said Huang Limin, deputy secretary-general of the government of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu.

About 700 soldiers are now struggling to clear away the rubble and rescue the buried people, a spokesman with the Qinghai Provincial Emergency Office said.

More than 5,000 additional rescuers, including soldiers and medical workers have been dispatched to the quake-hit region, according to a news conference held by the Qinghai provincial government.

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