At least 65 Dead After Powerful Earthquake

At least 65 people are confirmed dead following the earthquake that struck Sichuan Province in southwest China Monday, Chinese broadcaster China Central Television said.

Aftershocks were still being felt Tuesday, the state media said, one day after the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the magnitude-6.6 earthquake rocked a region southwest of Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, at about 1 p.m. on Monday.

So far, 248 injuries had been reported, with at least 12 others missing, according to state media.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake’s epicenter was located some 27 miles southeast of the town of Kangding, home to around 100,000 people. More than one million residents of surrounding areas were estimated to have felt mild shaking after the quake, it added.

Some homes were heavily damaged by the quake, with images showing entire buildings collapsing in heaps of bricks and timber beams.

China has activated Level Three Emergency Response, sending emergency workers to Luding county, the Chinese state council said on Monday. Chinese broadcaster CGTN said the rescue workers were helping to clear roads blocked by landslides caused by the earthquake.

Sichuan, a province with a population of 84 million, was already facing a very difficult summer ahead of the powerful earthquake. In the past couple months, the province has been suffering from droughts and the worst heat wave it has seen in 60 years.

The landlocked region is vulnerable to earthquakes due to the Langmenshan fault running across the mountains in Sichuan.

The magnitude-7.9 quake which hit Sichuan in 2008 was among the most damaging earthquakes in the country. Nearly 90,000 people were killed, with shaking felt across cities over 1,450 kilometers (900 miles) away.

Last year, Sichuan was hit by a magnitude-6.0 quake that killed three and injured 60, according to state media reports at the time.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. China Sichuan Earthquake: Rescuers to Help 1,000 Villagers Trapped by Landslides – Bloomberg
  2. Earthquake death toll rises to 65 in Sichuan, China as aftershocks rattle province – CNN
  3. Taiwan offers condolences over China quake, ready to send rescuers – Reuters
  4. China earthquake kills dozens as tremors shake locked-down Chengdu – The Guardian