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Last Updated: Monday May 12 2008 18:04 GMT

'Thousands dead' in China quake

Rescuers searching for students in Dujiangyan City

Thousands of people have been killed and many more injured as a massive earthquake shook China.

Fears are also growing for up to 900 school children who were buried under rubble as their school collapsed.

At least 8,500 people have been killed, with about 5,000 of them in just one county of the Sichuan province - an area in the south-west of the country.

It's the biggest quake to hit the area for more than 30 years and rescuers are doing all they can to find survivors.

The quake hit near the city of Chengdu and reached 7.5 on the Richter scale, which measures tremors. The scale goes up to 10, so this was a big quake.

Rescue workers sorting through the rubble of a collapsed building
Rescue workers search for survivors
Chinese officials said it was a major disaster and President Hu Jintao has called for "all-out" efforts to rescue victims of the quake.

Tallest building

The Sichuan province is home to 87 million people and is the most populated part of China.

One of the worst-hit areas in the quake is reported to be Beichuan county, where up to 5,000 people have died and another 10,000 people are thought to have been injured.

Tremors from the earthquake were felt for miles around.

Workers in the Chinese capital, Beijing - about 930 miles from Chengdu - said buildings there shook for about two minutes.

China's tallest building, the Jinmao Tower in Shanghai, was also evacuated after the earthquake, according to reports.

A map of China, showing the Sichuan province and areas affected by the quake