- uploaded: Apr 15, 2010
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Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands injured in an earthquake in Qinghai Province, China. Peter Sharp reports.
A powerful earthquake has killed at least 300 people and trapped many others in their homes in a remote region in western China.
A series of tremors and aftershocks brought down brick and wooden houses in Yushu, Qinghai province, on the rugged Tibetan Plateau.
Troops have been sent to the mountainous area to lead a search for victims buried under rubble.
It is feared many people could be without shelter in the near-freezing temperatures.
"Certainly there have been people hurt. Rescuers are trying to pull them out," one resident told reporters.
"A lot of one-storey houses have collapsed. Taller buildings have held up, but there are big cracks in them."
The magnitude 6.9 quake was centred in the mountains that divide Qinghai province from the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The foothills to the south and east of the region are home to herders and Tibetan monasteries of Yushu county, known for its horse festival.
The area to the north and west is arid and desolate.
The Tibetan plateau is regularly shaken by earthquakes, but casualties are usually minimal because so few people live there.
Movement of the Indian subcontinent toward the Himalayas has triggered an increasing number of quakes in the foothills.
About 80,000 people were killed in May 2008 after a magnitude-8 quake hit Sichuan province.