At least 111 people dead after 6.2 magnitude earthquake strikes northwestern China – state media

By Isaac M December 19, 2023

At least 111 people have been killed after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck a mountainous region of northwestern China, the country’s state media has said.

The official Xinhua News Agency said that 100 people died in the province of Gansu and another 11 in the neighbouring province of Qinghai after the quake just before midnight local time on Monday.

More than 200 people have been injured – 96 in Gansu and 124 in Qinghai, the news agency added.

China’s state broadcaster CCTV reports that President Xi Jinping has called for an all-out search and rescue effort to minimise the number of casualties.

The quake struck in Gansu’s Jishishan county, about three miles from the provincial boundary with Qinghai.

The US Geological Survey has given the earthquake’s magnitude as 5.9.

CCTV reported that water and electricity lines, as well as transportation and communications infrastructure, have been damaged.

Shockwaves were felt in Lanzhou, the Gansu provincial capital, about 1,450 kilometers (900 miles) southwest of the capital of Beijing.

University students there rushed out of their dorms, according to a social media post that had images showing young people standing outside.

Tents, folding beds and quilts were being sent to the disaster area, CCTV said.

Rescue workers in Jishishan county, Gansu province. Pic: AP
Rescue workers in Jishishan county, Gansu province. Pic: AP

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In September 2022 at least 74 people were reportedly killed in a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that shook China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, triggering landslides and shaking buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu, where 21 million residents were under a COVID-19 lockdown.

China’s deadliest earthquake in recent years was a 7.9 magnitude quake in 2008 that killed nearly 90,000 people in Sichuan.

It devastated towns, schools and rural communities outside Chengdu, leading to a years-long effort to rebuild with more resistant materials.


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