China Says Qinghai Quake Death Toll Rises to 2,698

China says the death toll from an earthquake that hit a Tibetan region in the country's west last month has risen to 2,698.

China's official Xinhua news agency says another 270 people remain missing after the April 14 quake in Qinghai province.

The new death toll is a significant increase from the previous figure of around 2,200 fatalities reported by Chinese authorities in late April.

The 6.9 magnitude quake flattened thousands of homes in Qinghai's ethnically-Tibetan Yushu county. The remote location posed logistical difficulties for rescuers. Xinhua quotes Qinghai Vice Governor Zhang Guangrong as saying the dead include 199 students.