China Tragedy: Magnitude-6.2 Quake Takes 118 Lives in Gansu, Qinghai Regions

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An overnight earthquake in cold, mountainous northwest China caused extensive damage, reportedly claiming the lives of at least 118 people as per state media.

The quake, registering a magnitude of 6.2 according to the China Earthquake Networks Center and 5.9 by the US Geological Survey, struck near the border of Gansu and Qinghai provinces at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (six miles) just before midnight on Monday.

Rescue operations are currently underway in both provinces, where the earthquake inflicted severe damage to houses, roads, and infrastructure, leaving over 500 people injured and causing widespread power and communication outages.

In Gansu province, 105 fatalities and 397 injuries, including 16 critical cases, were confirmed by Han Shujun, a spokesperson for the provincial emergency management department. 

Meanwhile, in Qinghai, 13 people lost their lives, 182 were injured, and an additional 20 individuals were reported missing following a landslide, as per state media reports.

The capital of Gansu province, Lanzhou, which is around 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of the epicenter of the China West Faces Seismic Risks earthquake, was among the places affected.

China’s West Faces Seismic Risks

china-tragedy-magnitude-6.2-quake-takes-118-lives-in-gansu-qinghai-regions
An overnight earthquake in cold, mountainous northwest China caused extensive damage, reportedly claiming the lives of at least 118 people as per state media.

Videos and images shared by students showed the chaos and panic as they evacuated dormitories, with one student describing the quake as too intense and causing physical weakness.

The affected area, comprising Gansu’s Jishishan county, is situated in a remote, mountainous region home to predominantly Muslim ethnic groups and neighboring Tibetan communities. 

While relief efforts are underway with thousands of firefighters, soldiers, and police officers dispatched for rescue operations, the harsh overnight temperatures between minus 15 to minus 9 degrees Celsius (5 to 16 degrees Fahrenheit) are posing additional challenges for survivors and rescuers alike.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has called for an exhaustive search and rescue mission to mitigate further casualties. 

However, authorities have advised against unnecessary travel to the affected zones to prevent potential disruptions to ongoing relief operations. 

The impact of this devastating quake serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of regions prone to seismic activities in this mountainous terrain of western China.

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