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14april20102Dharamshala: An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 shook Tibet's Yushu region earlier today. The quake hit at a depth of 10km at 7:49 AM, 380 kilometers south-south-east of Golmud, reported the US Geological survey.

According to the Chinese state television, the initial death casualty 67 rose to about400, with an additional 8,000 injured, and its two aftershocks which measured 5.3 and 5.2 on the Richter scale. Xinhua also reported that at least 90 percent of homes in the affected area collapsed, and that Chinese soldiers were dispatched to the area to help excavate people trapped in
the rubble.

While many taller buildings survived the quake, many local houses, built with thick walls and ceilings, were not so lucky. "Everybody is out in the streets standing in front of their houses, trying to find their family members," said Karsum Nyima, the head of news for the Yushu county television station.

The Yushu region has a population of about 252,000 people, about 97% of whom are Tibetan. and has been prone to earthquakes in the past. Chinese officials estimate that the homes of around 5 million people were destroyed, and that rebuilding efforts will take at least 3 years.

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