400 Dead in Powerful Earthquake in Tibet

400 Dead in Powerful Earthquake in Tibet

Chinese state-run media say at least 400 people have been killed in a powerful earthquake that struck western China early Wednesday.

The reports say 8,000 people were injured when the 6.9 magnitude quake and several aftershocks hit the province of Qinghai, which borders Tibet.

Officials in the region say dozens of houses and schools in the Tibetan Yushu county have collapsed, and many students are trapped in the rubble.

Troops have been dispatched to the region to assist in the rescue efforts. But a local police commander in Qinghai (Shi Huajie) tells Chinese Central Television they lack the proper equipment to respond to the disaster.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the powerful quake was centered 240 kilometers north of Qamdo prefecture, which borders China's Sichuan province. A massive 7.9 quake hit Sichuan in 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people.

The China Earthquake Administration estimated the magnitude of Wednesday's quake at 7.1, slightly higher than what the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.