Shanghai, China, Aug 6 (EFE).- A 5.5-magnitude earthquake left at least 21 people wounded in the early hours of Sunday in the Pingyuan county of China’s eastern Shandong province, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.
The quake hit at 2.33 am on Sunday in the county, which had a population of around 420,000 in 2020 and is situated around 300 kms south of Beijing, with the worst affected area falling inside the municipal limits of the city of Dezhou.
The latest report on the damages caused by the tremor, released at 7 am, said that at least 126 buildings had collapsed in the area.
The earthquake struck at a depth of 10 kms and was followed by up to 52 aftershocks, with the strongest one being of 3.0-magnitude.
Power supply, communications and transport in the area have continued to function normally, and no leaks have been reported in the oil and gas pipelines.
The quake led to the cancellation of more than 20 trains scheduled to depart from Beijing and nearby Tianjin and Cangzhou stations, as well as 30 others that run on the high-speed lines to Jinan and Shijiazhuang, the respective capitals of Shandong and the neighboring Hebei province.
After the tremor, Chinese authorities activated the emergency response protocol level 4 – the lowest at the national scale – and dispatched a working group to Shandong to coordinate rescue and relief work in the affected area.
State daily Global Times said that none of the injured were reported to be critical so far, and the majority had only suffered injuries on the skin, head or abrasions during the earthquake. EFE