Earthquake strikes China, disrupts Mysterio media tour
During WWE Superstar Rey Mysterio's media tour of China, a reported magnitude 7.9 earthquake devastated the nation's southwestern Sichuan province Monday afternoon, accumulating a death toll of more than 8,600.
At 2:28 p.m. local time, 2:28 a.m. ET, an earthquake struck approximately 57 miles from Chengdu, Sichuan's capital. In addition to the quake devastation caused in the Sichuan province alone, one of the worst hit areas, Beichuan County, suffered from 3,000 to 5,000 casualties and up to 10,000 injured, with up to 80 percent of its buildings destroyed. The quake reportedly could be felt in Beijing, which is more than 900 miles away, and Bangkok, Thailand, approximately 1,200 miles away.
Wenchuan County, the epicenter of where the quake hit, has yet to be assessed. CNN reports that rescue teams have been unable to reach the county due to extensive damage to the roads. Wenchuan has a population of about 112,000 people.
Rey Mysterio was in the middle of an event at a local television station in Xian when the earthquake struck. The building was promptly evacuated, and an unharmed Mysterio was brought back to his hotel where, for safety reasons, he and his wife Angie, who is traveling with him on the tour, were moved to a room on the first floor.
Helicopters and 5,000 troops have been deployed in relief efforts, and the Chinese government intends to release $2.89 million in response to the disaster. The Chinese Red Cross is providing additional emergency assistance by sending tents and quilts to the disaster area.
In the wake of this tragedy, Mysterio and his wife intend to continue his media tour for the fans. On Tuesday, they will be flying to Shenzhen for a press conference and media event. The WWE Superstar will then travel with his wife to Guangzhou on Thursday and Friday, where he will visit a rehabilitation center for disabled children. Before the earthquake, Mysterio and his wife had already visited Shanghai, where he made appearances at the Luwan District Special Education School and the Grassroots Community Sunflower Project.