The story

Rescuers struggled to reach some of the hardest-hit areas of southwestern China on Tuesday after a massive earthquake that left a death toll well above 12,000.

Rescuers found at least 500 dead in the Chinese district at the epicenter of the magnitude-7.9 earthquake Tuesday. But heavy rain, collapsed bridges and damaged roads complicated efforts to get troops and aid workers to the worst-hit towns. The rain drove some people back inside homes even as more aftershocks rattled the region, witnesses reported.

The Monday afternoon quake's epicenter was in the county of Wenchuan, Sichuan province, about 1,500 km (960 miles) southwest of Beijing. Read full article »

CNN correspondents John Vause and Paula Hancocks contributed to this report.

All About ChinaU.S. National Earthquake Information CenterDisaster Relief

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