China's southwestern Sichuan province was hit by a major earthquake today...
One of the worst earthquakes in decades struck central China on Monday, killing nearly 9,000 people, trapping about 900 students under the rubble of their school and causing a toxic chemical leak, state media reported.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated a hilly region of small cities and towns. The official Xinhua News Agency said 8,533 people died in Sichuan province and more than 200 others were killed in three other provinces and the mega-city of Chongqing.
The death toll is likely to break 10,000.
The Chinese government has actually done a fairly good job responding to the post-earthquake humanitarian needs of its people. Conveniently trembles from the quake were felt in Beijing, so the government could not even attempt to mask the damage this earthquake has brought (a 1976 earthquake killed hundreds of thousands; the government attempted to cover it up).