A series of strong earthquakes struck China's western Qinghai province Wednesday, killing at least 300 people, injuring thousands and burying many others under toppled houses in a mountainous rural area, officials and state media said.
The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 6.9 temblor struck an area in southern Qinghai, near Tibet, on Wednesday morning and was followed by several aftershocks.
The main quake sent residents fleeing as it toppled houses made of mud and wood, said Karsum Nyima, the Yushu county television station's deputy head of news, speaking by phone with broadcaster CCTV.
"In a flash, the houses went down. It was a terrible earthquake," he said. "In a small park, there is a Buddhist tower and the top of the tower fell off. ... Everybody is out on the streets, standing in front of their houses, trying to find their family members."
The quake hit the coun
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