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6.2-Magnitude Earthquake Jolts China, Death Toll Climbs To 111

The earthquake originated at a depth of 35 km (21.75 miles), with its epicenter situated 102 km west-southwest of Lanzhou.

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Dec 19, 2023 08:43 IST
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China Earthquake
China Earthquake

The death toll in China’s Gansu province climbed to 111 following a powerful earthquake that struck the Gansu-Qinghai border region. State media reported that over 230 individuals sustained injuries in the catastrophe.

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Reports from the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) initially assessed the earthquake at a magnitude of 6.1, while Chinese state media indicated it at 6.2 magnitude.

The earthquake originated at a depth of 35 km (21.75 miles), with its epicenter situated 102 km west-southwest of Lanzhou, the provincial capital of Gansu, according to EMSC. As of official updates, there’s no confirmation regarding missing persons in the aftermath of the quake.

In response to the recent earthquake in Gansu province, Chinese President Xi Jinping has issued urgent directives, emphasizing the need for comprehensive search and rescue efforts and effective arrangements for the affected population to safeguard lives and property.

Xi’s instructions, reported by the Global Times, underscore the importance of prioritizing the safety of individuals and their belongings. Concurrently, the State Council’s earthquake relief headquarters and the Ministry of Emergency Management have escalated the national earthquake emergency response to Level II.

The China Earthquake Networks Center, as cited by Xinhua, reported the quake occurring at 11:59 p.m. local time on Monday, with a focal depth of 10 km. The epicenter in Liugou Township is situated approximately 8 km from the county seat of Jishishan Bao’an, Dongxiang, Sala Autonomous County in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu.

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Witnesses noted damage to houses, roads, and other infrastructure, leading to power outages and water supply disruptions in several villages. According to local meteorological authorities, Jishishan is expected to experience a daily low temperature of minus 10 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

In response to the disaster, the provincial fire and rescue department dispatched 580 rescuers, supported by 88 fire engines, 12 search and rescue dogs, and over 10,000 sets of equipment to the affected area. Gansu Party Chief Hu Changsheng and Governor Ren Zhenhe have personally arrived at the scene to oversee rescue and relief efforts.

The railway authority has taken precautionary measures, suspending passenger and cargo trains passing through the earthquake zone and initiating a safety inspection of railway tracks, as reported by Xinhua.

First published on: Dec 19, 2023 06:55 AM IST

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