Almost 900 students have been buried by collapsed buildings during an earthquake in south-western China, state media reports. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in Sichuan Province on Monday afternoon, raised immediate concerns that the death toll could rapidly rise. The earthquake's toll, in human life and damage to infrastructure, is still largely unknown.
The massive quake was felt as far away as Bangkok, Thailand, more than 2,000 miles from its epicenter in the Sichuan Province.
The massive and massively controversial Three Gorges Dam project was apparently not damaged by the quake, according to early government reports. Still unknown is whether the largest water diversion project the world has ever seen helped to trigger the earthquake. Tremors stemming from the project have been one of many long-standing environmental concerns.
The earthquake comes less than three months before the start of the Beijing Summer Olympics, when China hopes to use to showcase its rise in the world.