The Chinese army is spearheading the rescue effort but bad weather has been making their task harder.
It has been further complicated by the remoteness of the region in which the epicentre lies. Landslides have also prevented emergency teams getting to some areas.
State television said in one town of 12,000 people, only 2,000 had been found alive.
It is not just soldiers and emergency specialists involved in the operation.
Across the country ordinary people have been lining up to give blood.
And from abroad many nations have responded to China’s request for help.
Among them are the US, the European Union, Taiwan and Japan.