At least 111 people have been killed in China’s Gansu and neighbouring Qinghai provinces after the strong 6.2-magnitude earthquake, state media Xinhua reported, citing local earthquake relief headquarters.
This comes after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake jolted an ethnic county in northwest China’s Gansu Province at midnight December 18. In addition to the death toll, around 200 people are injured, the New York Times reported citing Chinese State media.
Regarding the situation, Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged ‘all-out’ search and rescue efforts and proper arrangements for affected people to ensure the safety of people’s lives and property.
According to Global Times, Xi has issued important instructions, demanding full-scale search and rescue efforts, proper resettlement of affected people, and maximum efforts to ensure the safety of people’s lives and property.
In another development, the State Council’s earthquake relief headquarters and the Ministry of Emergency Management have upgraded the national earthquake emergency response to Level II Xinhua reported, citing the China Earthquake Networks Center, that the quake jolted at 11:59 p.m. (local time) on December 18 and had a focal depth of 10 km.
The epicenter Liugou Township is about 8 km from the county seat of Jishishan Bao’an, Dongxiang, Sala Autonomous County in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu. The witnesses said that the earthquake caused damage to houses, roads and other infrastructure. Several villages have suffered power failures and disruptions to water.
Xinhua reported, citing local meteorological authorities, that the daily low temperature in Jishishan is reported to reach minus 10 degrees Celsius on December 19.
The provincial fire and rescue department has sent 580 rescuers, aided by 88 fire engines, 12 search and rescue dogs, and more than 10,000 sets of equipment, to the disaster area.Hu Changsheng, Party chief of Gansu, and Ren Zhenhe, governor of Gansu, have rushed to the disaster area to command rescue and relief.
The railway authority has also suspended passenger and cargo trains passing through the quake zone and ordered a safety check of railway tracks, Xinhua reported.
(with inputs from ANI)