Quake Toll Could Top 50K

China says 20,000 confirmed dead, and at least 25,000 still trapped
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2008 12:39 PM CDT
Quake Toll Could Top 50K
A vehicle attempts to travel on a damaged road to Hongbai Township after it was just dug out after the landslides in Shifang in southwest China's Sichuan province Thursday, May 15, 2008.   (AP Photo)

The death toll from China’s devastating earthquake could ultimately top 50,000, Reuters reports. Some 20,000 have been confirmed dead, but Chinese officials fear for tens of thousands trapped under rubble, as rescuers contend with landslides, destroyed roads, and collapsed bridges. But even among those above ground, the multitudes of newly homeless people are beginning to strain the resources of relief efforts.

"There is enough food but not enough water. We have only had bottled mineral water the past few days, nothing to cook with," said a teacher whose school had not collapsed. (More China earthquake stories.)

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