Almost 15,000 dead in China quake: Xinhua

Breaking NewsAs of 1130 UTC: Nearly 15,000 people are now known to have died.

2355 UTC: CNN reports that pandas at the Wolong reserve are safe.

1245 UTC: 18,000 or more buried alive in one town alone. A panda sanctuary close to the epicentre has not yet been contacted and there are fears for the panda population, as well as staff and tourists — including foreigners, with at least 15 British tourists involved, the BBC reports.

0925 UTC: The death toll is now 11,922, according to CNN.

2330 UTC: As of 2200 UTC, Xinhua was reporting at least 10,000 deaths in Sichuan Province.

1505 UTC: Xinhua now reporting a toll of 7,651. Hundreds still trapped in collapsed buildings — including two chemical plants.

1500 UTC: Xinhua is now reporting that the death toll is at least 7,000. 50 bodies have been pulled from the earlier-mentioned collapsed school building.

1330 UTC: China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reports that 3,000 to 5,000 people are feared dead in a single county — Beichuan — alone following a Mw 7.8 earthquake that hit earlier today.

107 are already confirmed dead and 900 are trapped in a collapsed school building. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and military forces are already on their way to the affected areas. The quake was felt as far away as Beijing (950 miles from epicentre) and Bangkok, Thailand.

China’s rapid response to this disaster is in direct and stark contrast to that of the military junta in Burma, who continue to control aid into the country there following Cyclone Nargis.

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