Disasters & Accidents

Death toll from quake in northwest China climbs to 149, 2 still missing

Beijing, Dec 25 (EFE).- At least 149 people have died and two were still missing a week after a powerful earthquake struck northwest China, officials said on Monday.

The Qinghai government said the death toll in the province had risen to 32 and the number of missing was down to two, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

In Gansu province, 117 people died as a result of the magnitude-6.2 quake, which struck one minute before midnight local time on Dec. 18.

The epicenter of the quake was at a depth of just 10 kilometers, which made it more destructive, according to experts.

Many of the houses affected were old and vulnerable to heavy seismic activity.

The Chinese government said Monday that it would allocate 400 million yuan ($56 million) in relief funds to support the affected provinces.

Some 700 million yuan had already been released in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

The earthquake caused severe damage, destroying more than 200,000 homes and leaving another 15,000 on the brink of collapse, according to the authorities.

It is the deadliest earthquake in China since the one in August 2014 in the southern province of Yunnan, which left 617 people dead, but a far cry from the 2008 quake in Sichuan province, which left at least 70,000 dead. EFE

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