Disasters & Accidents

At least 3 killed as earthquakes rattle 2 Chinese provinces

Shanghai, China, May 22 (EFE).- At least three people have been killed and another 27 injured after a series of earthquakes shook the Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Qinghai, according to the latest data of local authorities Saturday morning.

A magnitude-6.1 earthquake occurred in southwestern province of Yunnan at 9.48 pm Friday local time (13:48 GMT) with its epicenter located about 28 kilometers northwest of the town of Dali, near the Myanmar border, at a depth of about 10 kilometers, according to United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Three people were killed, and among the 27 wounded, three have serious injuries, according to the state Xinhua news agency based on the figures of the latest report at 6 am local time.

At least another three tremors with a magnitude greater than 5 were recorded up to 11 pm in Yangbi County, the most affected of all 12 counties of the province in which the tremors were felt.

As of 2 am local time Saturday, 166 aftershocks had been recorded in the area, to which emergency teams have been dispatched, and where about 72,317 residents have been affected, according to Xinhua.

A few hours later and more than 1,200km away, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake occurred at 2.04 am Saturday morning in northwest Qinghai province, according to USGS.

The epicenter was in Maduo County, also some 10 kilometers deep, and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The earthquake was felt “strongly” in the provincial capital, Xining, located almost 400 kilometers from the epicenter, according to state media.

Collapses of sections of highways and bridges have not prevented “well-equipped” rescue teams from deploying to the affected area.

“The tectonic motion in this region is driven by collision between the India and Eurasia plates. While both events happened close in time, the large distance (~620 miles or 1000 km) between them indicates they are unlikely to be directly related,” USGS said, adding that “perceived shaking” for both events was “severe.”

“USGS scientists expect that both events will trigger aftershocks, but these will decrease in frequency over time,” it said.

The Yunnan region, like neighboring Sichuan, is prone to earthquakes due to the friction of these tectonic plates, although in many cases the earthquakes have their epicenters in areas of low population density, such as the Tibetan plateau or the deserts of Central Asia. EFE


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