Tibet earthquake toll rises to 20; forecast of rain, snow


BEIJING, China, 28 April 2015

The death toll in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region due to the devastating earthquake that hit neighbouring Nepal climbed to 20 today as the government continued to reach out to people in the affected areas.

Besides, a total of 58 people there have been injured and four are missing, according to the Regional Disaster Relief Headquarters.

The 7.9 Richter Scale tremblor that struck Nepal on Saturday also affected parts of Tibet. The two border ports to Nepal were seriously affected.

Some 24,800 people have been relocated in Xigaze City. The highway linking Xigaze and the Zham Pass, the border port to Nepal, has been cut by landslides.

Four persons including a Nepalese national, were missing in Nyalam County. About 80 tourists, including 12 foreigners, were visiting the county when the earthquake occurred, state- run Xinhua news agency reported.

The earthquake tragedy in Nepal, worst in over 80 years in the Himalayan nation, has so far claimed over 2,400 lives, including five Indians, and left more than 6,000 others injured.

Joining international humanitarian efforts, China yesterday also sent a 60-member search-and-rescue team to offer assistance to its neighbour.

Couillard, a Canadian tourist, told Xinhua, that he saw many ambulances and fire engines on the road in Xigaze and felt very safe.

He still hopes to head toward the base camp of Mount Everest.

The quake toppled 1,206 houses and destroyed 9,974 of them, damaged roads and cut telecommunications in Xigaze, where 54 temples were also damaged.

A 5.9-magnitude aftershock shook Xigaze at 5:17 pm (local time) on Saturday and a 5.3-magnitude quake jolted Nyalam County at 1:42 am (local time) yesterday, China Earthquake Networks Center recorded.

Weather forecast has predicted continuous rain and snow for the next few days.

Over 400 mountaineers from more than 20 countries on the Tibetan side of Mount Qomolangma have descended or are descending to the north base camp at 5,200 meters (16,900 ft) with no casualties reported.

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