Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - An earthquake measuring 7.1 hit the area of Qinghai (northwest China) this morning killing at least 300 people and injured more than 8 thousand. Many others are still trapped under the rubble of collapsed houses. The area is in the Tibetan plateau and is inhabited by many Tibetan ethnic groups.
In several cities, especially in the Yushu area, low brick buildings were destroyed, police and residents are working to extract the wounded from under the collapsed buildings. The remoteness of the area from major population centers makes it difficult for rescue operations.
The epicenter of the earthquake occurred 240 km north-northwest from Qamdo, Tibet and 375 km south-southeast of the mining town of Golmud in Qinghai at a depth of 10 km.
The Tibetan plateau is regularly shaken by earthquakes, but the victims are usually few because there are no high concentrations of population. In May 2008, the south-east of Qinghai and Tibet, an earthquake in Sichuan killed 80 thousand people.