A powerful earthquake has struck a mountainous area in northwestern China, causing extensive damage, displacing residents in freezing temperatures, and resulting in the tragic loss of over 100 lives, marking the deadliest quake in the country in nearly a decade.
The 6.2 magnitude quake hit just before midnight on Monday, causing over 700 injuries, disrupting infrastructure, and cutting off power and communication lines in Gansu and Qinghai provinces, according to officials and Chinese media reports.
As rescue teams searched for survivors in collapsed buildings and dealt with a landslide, those rendered homeless braced for a chilly night in tents hastily set up at evacuation sites.
The earthquake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometres (6 miles) in Gansu’s Jishishan county, approximately 5 kilometres (3 miles) from the provincial boundary with Qinghai, as per the China Earthquake Networks Center. The United States Geological Survey recorded a magnitude of 5.9.
State broadcaster CCTV confirmed 113 fatalities and 536 injuries in Gansu, while 13 people lost their lives and 182 were injured in Qinghai, north of the epicenter, according to a local Communist Party official during a press briefing.
Over 4,000 firefighters, soldiers, and police officers were mobilised for rescue operations, with the People’s Liberation Army Western Theatre establishing a command post to coordinate the response efforts.
To read more exclusive articles and latest news, see our last issue here.