China: MSF Assessing Needs in Qinghai Province

Valérie Batselaere/MSF
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Chinese media reports 760 dead, 11,500 injuried by earthquake in Qinghai Province

According to official Chinese media, the death toll from the earthquake that hit the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in Qinghai province early Wednesday has risen to 760 people. Approximately 11,500 people were reportedly injured.

A three-person Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) assessment team arrived on Friday in the provincial capital of Xiling and made contact with provincial health officials, the local Red Cross and international non-governmental organizations that have been working in the earthquake-affected area. The team has also been in contact with local government officials in Yushu.

On Friday evening, the team will travel in a convoy with the local Red Cross to Yushu county, 850 kilometers (510 miles) from the provincial capital. Reaching Yushu remains difficult because of its remote, high-altitude location. The small airport in Yushu is open, as is the only road to the region, but it will take a minimum of 20 hours by road to get to the worst-affected area.

MSF is putting together a back-up team comprised of a surgeon, an OT nurse, an anesthetist, a logistician and a psychologist on standby, ready to go if needed.