The most powerful earthquake to hit China in 30 years has killed at least 10,000 people in south-western Sichuan province, with thousands more trapped.
Chinese state media said that 10,000 people were thought to be buried in one town alone near the epicenter of the earthquake in Wenchuan County. Premier Wen Jiabao has called for urgent efforts to reach cut-off areas.
“The situation is worse than we previously estimated and we need more people here to help,” he said. Speaking from the disaster relief headquarters northwest of Sichuan’s provincial capital, Chengdu, he said roads to towns at the quake’s epicenter had to be cleared.
Perhaps this earthquake will shake the foundations of the state as well.