More than 12,000 people were killed in Monday’s earthquake in central China.
The 7.9 quake also left thousands buried under rubble, and rescue efforts by 20,000 Chinese security and relief workers are slowly uncovering them.
International leaders offered their support, though China is not allowing the entry of foreign relief workers yet.
VOICEOVER: At least 12,000 people are confirmed dead–victims of China’s worst earthquake in three decades. The count is expected to rise dramatically, and Chinese state media has reported that more than 10,000 people still “remain buried” in rubble. The 7.9-magnitude quake struck just north of Sichuan province’s capital, Chengdu, in central China on Monday, tearing into urban areas and mountain villages.
WU HUANYING, LOCAL RESIDENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): We can’t stay in the endangered houses and we have to come outdoors to avoid possible aftershocks. We think it is much safer to stay outside.
VOICEOVER: Thousands are homeless and injured. The government has sent nearly 20,000 security and relief workers to the disaster area, though some are still unable to get to badly affected areas.
WEN JIABAO, CHINESE PREMIER (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): The troops are rescuing you.
VOICEOVER: China says it is prepared to allow in foreign-aid money and materials, but will not allow international relief teams into the country yet. International leaders expressed their sympathies and offered their support. National Public Radio’s Melissa Block was in Chengdu when the earthquake struck. We listen to her as she wraps up her journey to quake ravaged Beichuan County.
VOICE OF MELISSA BLOCK, HOST, NPR: The scope of the devastation in these rural areas is still incalculable, but the relief effort seems to be ramping up. On the main highway heading out of the provincial capital, we pass convoys of huge bulldozers on flatbed trucks and a long line of buses filled with soldiers. They’re heading into the ruined areas, to help with rescue and relief.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.