A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck in the southwest province of Yunnan early today, hundreds are suspected death in the devastation.
The quake originated at a depth of less than one mile with disastrous effect. Among the buildings that collappsed in the remote mountainous region was a school. An estimated 12,000 other structures are estimated to have been destroyed.
2,500 Chinese troops and another 400 response personnel were dispatched to the area and are digging through the rubble and stretchering the injured away. They join the 300 police and firefighters that responded to the scene.
At least 400 are feared dead and another 2,000 injured. The county of Ludian, in Yunnan Province was the most severely hit with 122 dead, 180 missing and another 1,300 injured.
The quake occurred in the earthquake prone area where the India and Eurasian plates meet. Earthquakes in 1970 and 1974 killed a combined 16,400.
Sichuan Province to the north of Yunnan, suffered a devastating quake in 2008 that took the lives of an estimated 70,000 people.