Death toll in China quake climbs above 12,000

Tuesday, May 13th 2008, 2:12 pm
By: News 9

Associated Press

MIANYANG, China -- Most of the people living in one Chinese city of 700,000 residents have been out of their homes since yesterday's magnitude 7.9 earthquake. Plastic sheeting is providing the only shelter from the rain, which is hampering relief efforts in the hardest hit areas.

Soldiers searching in one small town say there may be only 2,300 survivors out of a population of 9,000.

People evacuated from hard-hit Beichuan are staying at a sports stadium in another city.

Video on Chinese television shows piles of rubble in the town. In one shot, a six-story hotel lists to one side, after half of the first floor had collapsed.

The death toll, which is estimated at 12,000 people, is expected to soar as workers reach towns near the earthquake's epicenter.