Deadly 6.2 Earthquake Rocks China, Over 120 Killed


More than 120 people have been killed and hundreds more injured when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck northwest China – Gansu and Qinghai provinces on Monday night. Rescuers are racing against the clock, amid freezing conditions, to find survivors buried under concrete rubble.

The midnight earthquake is being described as the deadliest to hit China since the 2010 Yushu 6.9 quake, which also hit the northwestern provinces of Gansu and Qinghai, killed more than 2,000 people.

Latest footages and photographs coming in from the disaster area shows entire villages split by the earthquake, collapsed buildings and houses, and bridge across the Yellow River cracked. Public infrastructure has been damaged to varying degrees. Cracks have been found on the hospital,  of integrated traditional Chinese and Western medicine in Jishishan county, building walls.

China Ramps Up Search and Rescue

The Chinese president Xi Jinping called for all-out efforts in the search and rescue work. He ordered authorities to make every effort to treat the injured, repair infrastructure and resettle affected residents.

President Xi urged allocation of relief supplies to the affected regions as soon as possible, repair of damaged infrastructure such as electricity, communications and transportation, and heating, and proper accommodation of the affected people to ensure their basic living needs.

Rescuers are evacuating villagers to secure locations, with medical teams attending to the injured. The Gansu branch of the Blue Sky Rescue Team have set up dozens of tents in the public square of Dahe village, with local officials providing warm water for the affected residents.

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Earthquake Like Surging Waves

The China Earthquake Networks Center said the quake struck at 11.59pm Monday, with a focal depth of 10 km. The epicenter is about 8km from the county seat of Jishishan Bao’an, Dongxiang, Salar autonomus country.

Survivors recalled being tossed by surging waves and running out of their apartments. Local Chinese media says people were asleep when the earthquake struck. They did not have time to take shelter. A villager recounted that the intense tremor woke him up. He said he feels fortunate for escaping and expressed sadness for those who couldn’t make it. A student recounted running out of the dormitory barefoot, without even grabbing a coat. Teachers, following the earthquake, helped students take refuge on the playground.



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