CHONGQING, China - One of the worst earthquakes in decades struck central China on Monday, killing nearly 9,000 people, trapping about 900 students under the rubble of their school and causing a toxic chemical leak, state media reported.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated a hilly region of small cities and towns in Sichuan and nearby provinces. The official Xinhua News Agency said 8,533 people died in Sichuan alone and dozens of other deaths were reported in surrounding areas.
Xinhua said 80 percent of the buildings had collapsed in Beichuan county in Sichuan province after the quake, raising fears the overall death toll could increase sharply.
State media said a chemical plant in Shifang city had cratered, burying hundreds of people and spilling more than 80 tons of toxic liquid ammonia from the site.
The earthquake sent thousands of people rushing out of buildings and into the streets hundreds of miles away in Beijing and Shanghai. The temblor was felt as far away as Vietnam and Thailand.
I'm so worried about Izabella today!! I am just praying that God will watch over her and keep her safe until we can get to her!!