Giant panda habitats mostly spared in deadly China earthquake

April 23, 2013 at 4:56 PM

YA'AN, China, April 23 (UPI) -- The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that shook China's Sichuan Province Saturday has had only limited effects on the region's giant panda habitats, officials said.

Little signs of major effects were seen in habitats close to the temblor's epicenter, the Chinese Academy of Sciences said Tuesday.

Aerial remote sensing images showed the scale of landslides triggered by the quake in a giant panda research center in badly hit Baoxing County hadn't been large, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

All 60 giant pandas and nearly 100 staff at Bifengxia Panda Base 30 miles from the epicenter, are safe, officials said.

Buildings in the panda center suffered minor damage, Heng Yi, director of its publicity department, said.

Across the Sichuan Province the earthquake killed 186 people and sent more than 8,000 to hospitals for treatment of injuries.

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