China Quake Toll Hits 15,000, Airlift Drops Aid

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The number of people who have died from a powerful earthquake in China has risen to nearly 15,000.

Chinese state media says nearly 26,000 people are still buried in the debris, and another 14,000 are missing.

For more on the impact of this quake on China, watch for China Connection's Laura Robertson, following this report.

Relief organizations, including Operation Blessing, continue their efforts to reach survivors in a disaster area the size of Maryland.

Earthquake survivors in China's Sichuan province can now do little more than wait.

They're waiting for food, water, medicine and to be rescued.

There are estimates that more than three and a half million homes and structures have been destroyed.

"Think of a U.S. city that has that many people and imagine all of the homes are gone. The needs are going to be long term, the answer will not be fast, but Operation Blessing is dedicated to, to meet the needs that are happening in China today," said Kara Waddell, CBN China's general manager.

Waddell is a part of a team airlifting medicines and supplies to an orphanage at the epicenter in Chengdu.

"We have already heard from the director in Wenchuan orphanage they have 37 children there and 20 of them under 2 years old and their building is built in 1980s which is not very steady," said Melody Zhang from Children's Hope International.

Bad weather and torn up roads are hindering rescue and relief efforts, but aid workers, including those from Operation Blessing, are not giving up.

"We are also trying to coordinate with the international community cause we know that many people are trying to help," said Paul Yang with Operation Blessing China.

In one county, at least 1,000 students and teachers were buried under a school building.

At least 8,000 people died in that same town. The situation is also taking its toll relief workers. Many sob as they search for survivors in the rubble of towns and villages.

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