Just weeks after the devastating cyclone in Myanmar (Burma) a 7.9 magnitude earthquake has hit china.
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- Thousands of people have been killed by Monday's powerful earthquake in just one affected region of central China, its government said, with the toll expected to keep rising as bodies are retrieved from schools, homes and factories.
The death toll quickly rose throughout the day. State-run news agency Xinhua said it had reached 8,533 in Sichuan Province by Monday night, and another 10,000 were believed to be injured.
It reported that authorities were yet to reach Wenchuan County -- which sits at the epicenter of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake with a population of about 112,000 -- because of damage to roads.
In Beichuan County, close to Wenchuan, the number of deaths was estimated at more than 3,000, with 80 percent of the buildings destroyed.
China's Seismological Bureau said the earthquake had affected more than half the country's provinces and municipalities.