Earthquake in China – At least 111 dead

At least 111 people were killed and more than 230 injured after an earthquake hit the Gansu-Qinghai border region in China on Tuesday, according to reports by state media.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) had pegged the earthquake at magnitude 6.1. Chinese state media said the quake was registered at 6.2 magnitude.

The quake occurred at a depth of 35 km (21.75 miles) with its epicentre 102 km west-southwest of Gansu’s provincial capital city, Lanzhou, EMSC said. Official reports have not stated whether there are any missing people in the quake’s aftermath.

The official Xinhua news agency said the epicentre was 5 km from the border between the two northwestern provinces, reporting that strong tremors were felt in many parts of Qinghai province.

China’s national commission for disaster prevention, reduction and relief and Ministry of Emergency Management have activated a level-IV disaster relief emergency, Xinhua reported.

As the disaster area is in a high-altitude region where the weather is cold, rescue efforts are working to prevent secondary disasters caused by factors beyond the quake, Xinhua said.

The temperature in Linxia, Gansu, near where the quake occurred, was about minus 14 degrees Celsius (6.8°F) on Tuesday morning. Most of China is grappling with freezing temperatures as a cold wave that started last week continued to sweep through the country.

Some water, electricity, transportation, communications and other infrastructure have been damaged but officials provided no further details.

Rescue and relief work is under way and a working group was dispatched to assess the impact of the disaster and to provide guidance for local relief operations, state media said.

Preliminary analysis shows that the quake was a thrust-type rupture, one of three above magnitude 6 to have struck within 200km of the epicentre since 1900, state television CCTV said.

A total of nine aftershocks at magnitude 3.0 and above were recorded before dawn Tuesday, CCTV said.


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