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Sichuan earthquake death toll reaches 12,012
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Officials say more than 12,000 people are dead in the earthquake. More than 9,400 victims are trapped in rubble, at least 7,800 people are still missing and more than 26,000 people have been taken to hospital.

As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, southwestern Sichuan Province has reported 12,012 death in Monday's quake, according to the disaster relief center under the State Council.(Xinhua Photo)

As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, southwestern Sichuan Province has reported 12,012 death in Monday's quake, according to the disaster relief center under the State Council.(Xinhua Photo)

Two of the worst-hit areas, Wenchuan and Beichuan counties, have experienced hundreds of aftershocks. Sixteen of them were above 5 on the Richter Scale.

Over half a million houses have collapsed in the earthquake-hit regions.

About 30,000 residents in Wenchuan County are staying in shelters. Most houses in the quake's epicenter were destroyed, with telecommunications and roads totally disrupted. Roads to Wenchuan County are still blocked.

In Beichuan County, over seventy percent of houses collapsed. Landslides are threatening to overflow the lower reaches of a local river.

Many expressways in Aba Prefecture are blocked. The Sichuan provincial government is trying to restore road traffic.

The earthquake also caused temporary suspension of railways. After urgent repair, most railways are now back in operation. Shuangliu Airport in Chengdu has also reopened.

Rain began to fall on Tuesday in Sichuan, Chongqing, Gansu and Shaanxi. Meteorologists have forecast more rain, which is expected to make rescue work even more difficult.

(CCTV May 14, 2008)


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