Disasters & Accidents

Central China earthquake death toll climbs to 46: state media

Beijing, Sep 6 (EFE).- At least 46 people have died after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook the central Chinese province of Sichuan, according to the latest casualty count reported by state-run news agency Xinhua on Tuesday.

Other media had previously put the toll at 21.

The earthquake occurred at 12.52 pm on Monday at a depth of 16 kilometers (10 miles) and had its epicenter in Luding County in Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture, about 200 kilometers from the provincial capital Chengdu, which has more than 20 million inhabitants, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

A total of 29 people died in Luding County, while the other 17 perished in Shimian County, both in southwest China’s Sichuan province, Xinhua reported.

More than 50,000 people in Ganzi prefecture and Ya’an city have been temporarily relocated.

After a preliminary inspection, local authorities reported that communication with some towns in the area has been cut off and that there have been landslides and serious damage to homes and roads, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Although the epicenter was located 39 kilometers from the central area of ​​Luding County, there are several towns within a five-kilometer radius around ground zero, Xinhua added.

The Ministry of Emergency Management raised the national earthquake emergency response to level II, the second highest in China’s four-tier emergency response system and dispatched a working team to the area to assist in rescue and relief work.

More than 6,500 troops have already joined the rescue teams.

The quake was felt in Chengdu, where some residents shared videos on social media showing swaying lamps and falling household objects.

Seismic activity is common in Sichuan province, which in 2008 was the scene of a magnitude-8 earthquake that left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing.

In recent weeks, Sichuan has grappled with a searing heat wave, a drought that has affected the production of electricity in some zones, wildfires and outbreaks of Covid-19 that led to a lockdown in Chengdu on Friday. EFE


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