China earthquakes death toll up to at least 80


Dual earthquakes in the southwestern province of Yunan in China killed at least 50 people Friday.



Two earthquakes that struck China’s Yunnan and Guizhou provinces Friday have killed at least 80 as of a count Saturday afternoon, up from an original death toll of 50.

The magnitude 5.6 earthquakes also destroyed over 6,650 homes and brought down telecommunications and power in large swaths of the southeastern region, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

The lack of communication and traffic flow has made it difficult to accurately assess the death toll, which may climb even higher as rescue teams make their way through the area, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported

More from GlobalPost: Quakes hit Yunnan province in China, killing at least 50

820 people were injured in the two earthquakes, which struck an area near Yiliang county in Yunnan province at 11:19 am and and Weining county in Guizhou Province 12:16 pm Friday, according to Xinhua. 

More than 200,000 villagers in the remote mountainous area have also been evacuated due to landslides triggered by the temblors, the Associated Press reported.

Rescue workers are currently in the process of clearing roads to facilitate the search for more survivors. 

Premier Wen Jiabao was at the site of the earthquakes Saturday morning, where he emphasized that life-saving efforts were the first priority, Xinhua reported. China has allocated $166 million in aid to the province of Yunnan, Bloomberg reported.

In May 2008, a massive 7.9- magnitude quake in China's Sichuan province killed 90,000 people due to collapsed, which spurred accusations and protests that the government had purposely ignored shoddy construction.