Death toll climbs to 410 as bad weather hampers quake rescue in China

Beijing, Aug 5 (EFE).- Landslides and heavy rains on Tuesday continued hampering rescue efforts in the southwestern county of Ludian, where the death toll from last weekend's earthquake has climbed to 410, Chinese officials said.

A dozen people are listed as missing and 2,373 others were injured in the magnitude-6.5 earthquake that rocked Yunnan province on Sunday.

An estimated 230,000 people have been evacuated from Ludian county, where the epicenter was located, after their wooden dwellings collapsed in the quake, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing government officials.

More than 20,000 soldiers, police officers and firefighters have rescued dozens of survivors, who now await food and medical supplies while they remain stranded on muddy roads, dealing with freezing temperatures at night.

"Transport is totally cut off. We don't have any more food, each person has only a potato," a village official in Ludian county said.

Medical teams are complaining about shortages of supplies and the need to transfer injured people needing immediate surgery to better medical centers.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang asked the teams "not to stop searching for survivors and those missing," Xinhua reported.

The weather service is forecasting torrential rains for the next few days.

Geologists, meanwhile, said the region could experience more earthquakes.

China's Earthquake Administration had recorded up to 467 aftershocks, four of which had magnitudes of between 4 and 4.9, in the region as of Monday afternoon.

The Chinese government said Monday it was appropriating 600 million yuan (about $97 million) for rescue and relief work.

Aircraft and helicopters are delivering emergency supplies, while drones are being used to assess the damage and condition of residents in remote areas.