Science, Tech & Environment

Earthquake death toll continues to climb

On China's state run TV today, poignant music was played over images of rescue efforts and the Premier on the scene as well. That was the tone a transportation government minister struck on TV as well. The minister said most roads in Sichuan are now open except for a 25 mile stretch of narrow mountain roads in a terribly hit area. What's working better are the trains which have started to bring in supplies and troops to distribute the supplies, 2,000 troops in fact. The Chinese government has called on its citizens to donate money or blood, but some victims still feel angry and blame shoddy construction and corruption for reasons why some schools and houses have collapsed while government buildings stay erect. Officials have declined foreign volunteers' help so far because they say with tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers and government officials, foreign volunteers would just crowd the scene, but the government is accepting foreign aid. One analyst says the acceptance of international aid can only help with international solidarity, which is important following international protests on China's treatment of Buddhists in Tibet.

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