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Strong earthquakes hit southwestern China, 46 dead

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China earthquake

At least 46 people were reported killed and 16 missing in a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that shook China’s southwestern province of Sichuan on Monday, triggering landslides and shaking buildings.

The earthquake struck in the provincial capital of Chengdu with a depth of 10 km at about 13:00 local time (05:00 GMT) (6 miles).

According to local media accounts, the impact caused “major damages” by destroying communication lines and causing mountain landslides.

Recently, over 21 million people in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, were told to stay at home according to Covid rules.

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According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the epicentre of the earthquake was in the town of Luding, which is situated in a remote mountain region 226 kilometres southwest of Chengdu.

Tremors shook buildings in Chengdu and the neighbouring mega-city of Chongqing, leaving roads blocked and cutting telecommunications lines in areas home to more than 10,000 residents, according to broadcaster CCTV.

The aftermath Hailuogou in China’s south-western Sichuan province

It said some power plants in the Garze and Ya’an regions were forced to shut down as a result of the shocks.

The death toll rose to 46 with 16 missing as the search for trapped people continued Monday night, state broadcaster CCTV said, more than 500 rescue personnels have been sent to the disaster’s epicentre while others work hard to clear off road obstacles caused by landslides.

When earthquake alerts were received on their phones, residents of Chengdu saw people frantically running out of their high-rise apartments.

“There were many people who were so terrified they started crying,” Laura Luo, an international PR consultant, told news agency Reuters.

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When the shaking began, “all the dogs started barking. It was really quite scary”. “Some of my neighbours on the ground floor said they felt it very noticeably,” Chen, a resident of Chengdu, told AFP news agency. “But because Chengdu is currently under epidemic management, people aren’t allowed to leave their residential compounds, so many of them rushed out into their courtyards.”

Earthquake victims

The aftermath Hailuogou in China’s south-western Sichuan province

The latest city to be placed under lockdown by Chinese officials on Friday in an effort to stop the rise in Covid cases is Chengdu.

The most recent catastrophe occurred many months after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that shook Sichuan in June. Due to its location on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, Sichuan is prone to earthquakes.

The most recent catastrophe also brought to mind the 2008 Wenchuan county, northwest Sichuan, 8.0-magnitude earthquake that claimed 70,000 lives and left extensive damage.

 

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