Friday, April 19, 2013

 

Earthquake in China leaves 46 dead, more than 600 injured

A 6.6 earthquake struck south-western China, claiming 46 lives and injuring more than 600 people, according to state media reports.
Image from Twitter/@stepru

The disaster has struck the country's south-western Sichuan province at 00:02 AM GMT (8:02 AM local time) on Saturday, at a depth of around 13 kilometers (7,6 miles), according to China's Xinhuan news agency.
Preliminary reports indicate 46 confirmed deaths and around 600 people injured in the quake in the Ya'an city in Sichuan, which is quite close to where a huge temblor hit in 2008, claiming the lives of almost 70,000 people.

Xinhua is also reporting that 2,000 troops have been dispatched to assist in clearing the area and helping rescue efforts. China's state-owned CCTV channel said that currently only emergency vehicles are allowed access into Yan'an, athough Chengdu airport is once again functional.
There are also reports of light rain hitting Ya'an, which raises the danger of landslides.
Residents in neighboring provinces have also pointed out quite strong indicators that a quake was happening. People in the provincial capital of Chengdu were leaving their homes in fear - a report from China's Sina Weibo microblog states. Chengdu is 140 kilometers (85 miles) away from the epicenter of the earthquake.
The area trembled with a multitude of aftershocks, the strongest of which hit a magnitude of 5.1, in Lushan and Boaxing counties at 8:07 AM. The US Geological Service initially gave a figure of 7, but later corrected the data.
A Chengdu resident said he could feel the earthquake all the way up on the 13th floor of his apartment building, which he claims shook for about 20 seconds, as tiles were seen falling off the neighboring buildings.
Ya'an is a city with a rich history, considered to be one of the origins of China's tea culture, as well as housing one of China's main centers for protecting its Giant Panda population.
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