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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Western China Quakes Kill at Least 300 in Qinghai Province

Posted by Author on April 14, 2010

A magnitude 7.1 temblor struck shortly before 8 a.m. in a remote, mountainous area near the border between China’s Qinghai province and the Tibet Autonomous Region, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The U.S. Geological Survey said it recorded a 6.9 magnitude quake in southern Qinghai followed by two other temblors in the region.

In Yushu prefecture, an area predominantly inhabited by ethnic Tibetans, witnesses said that many houses had collapsed, according to state media. The prefecture has a population of about 252,000 people, about 97% of whom are Tibetan.

A prefecture official quoted by Xinhua said that in the town of Jiegu near the quake’s epicenter, more than 85% of houses had been knocked down by the quake. Rescuers were digging through the ruble by hand to try to find survivors, Xinhua said.

“Many are buried in the collapsed houses, and there are still lots of others who are injured and being treated at local hospitals,” the local official, Zhuohuaxia told Xinhua. He said local authorities needed excavating equipment and medical supplies.

Guo Yang, a resident of Jiegu interviewed by phone, said: “It is the most devastating thing I’ve ever seen.” Mr. Guo said nearly all the homes in the town had collapsed. “We are busy with rescuing people who are trapped,” he said.

Hundreds of People’s Armed Police were on the scene searching collapsed buildings and thousands more rescuers had been dispatched to the area, state media said.

Earthquakes are a frequent occurrence on the Tibetan plateau, but there are usually few casualties because the area is so sparsely populated. A massive earthquake in May 2008 in Sichuan, in southwestern China, however, left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing. (The Wall Street Journal)

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