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.
A tropical cyclone has killed at least 243 people in Burma and damaged thousands of buildings, according to state television.
Parts of the Irrawaddy region were hit particularly badly, with three out of four buildings blown down in one district. Burma has declared Irrawaddy and four other regions, including the main city Rangoon, to be disaster areas.
Rangoon has been without power and water, its streets full of debris. Winds of about 190km/h (120mph) battered the Irrawaddy, Rangoon, Bago, Karen and Mon regions. Military and police personnel have been carrying out rescue operations Cyclone Nargis has since moved towards Thailand where storm warnings have been issued. However, it appears to be lessening in force.
One of the worst dictatorships in history was not enough with Burma people they have to deal with nature also!