Massive Earthquake Jolts China

Death toll passes 67,000; thousands injured

CHENGDU, China, May 29, 2008 — Chinese state media said that two aftershocks struck Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces Tuesday afternoon as the nationwide death toll from this month's earthquake rose to more than 67,000. Another 361,000 are injured, while millions more people have been left homeless by the disaster, authorities said.

A 5.4-magnitude aftershock hit Qingchuan County in Sichuan Province at Tuesday, about 4:03 pm and another 5.7-magnitude aftershock hit the neighboring Ningqiang County in Shaanxi Province, according to the China National Seismological Network. No causalties have been reported.

As the death toll rises from the country's worst earthquake in 30 years, China has allowed foreign workers to help with rescue efforts. A Japanese rescue team arrived in Chengdu last week, and officials said Taiwanese, Russian, South Korean and Singaporean teams would join in soon. The country has also been accepting donations of money and supplies.

China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has also ordered local authorities to investigate the structural quality of schools and other buildings in the region. According to Orville Schell, director of the Asia Society Center on US-China Relations, rapid economic development in the Sichuan province may have contributed to the earthquake's damage—and high number of casualties. "So much construction has gone up that's substandard, and a lot of it happened very rapidly," said Schell in an interview with NPR. "It's very difficult for building inspectors to enforce [building code requirements], particularly outside the large cities."

Read more features and analyses:
The Great Sichuan Earthquake (Far Eastern Economic Review)
China's Quake: Why did so many schools collapse? (Christian Science Monitor)
China quake shows flaws in building boom (The Associated Press)
Chinese VP Xi Jinping at Asia Society's 18th Asian Corporate Conference: 'China has made great achievements in quake relief work' (Xinhua News Agency)

China's Recovery: Heartbreak, and New Questions
A special Asia Society podcast focusing on the aftermath of China's devastating earthquake with Michael Zhao and Andrew Smeall from Asia Society's Center on US-China Relations on the unprecedented amount of information coming from Chinese media and new media sources, and Director of Asia Society Policy Programs Mike Kulma on how China's openness bodes well for international relations.

Listen on demand:

Follow the latest developments on rescue and recovery efforts in China:
Xinhua News Agency

How to support the relief efforts:
American Red Cross
Mercy Corps
Oxfam Hong Kong
World Vision Emergency Aid

The organizations listed are working with local groups to assist earthquake victims in China. Asia Society is collecting more information on other relief efforts and organizations, and will continue to update this page as we learn more.