3 اگست، 2014

China earthquake kills 367 in Yunnan province

China's official Xinhua News Agency says the death toll from a strong earthquake in southern Yunnan province has risen to 367.


The news agency says that according to rescuers,1,881 other people were injured in the quake.

About 12,000 homes collapsed in Ludian, a densely populated county located around 366 kilometres northeast of Yunnan's capital, Kunming, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The magnitude-6.1 quake struck at 4:30 p.m. at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Its epicenter was in Longtoushan township, 23 kilometres southwest of the city of Zhaotong, the Ludian county seat.

Ma Liya, a resident of Zhaotong, told Xinhua that the streets there were like a "battlefield after bombardment." She added that her neighbor's house, a new two-story building, had toppled, and said the quake was far worse than one that struck the area in 2012 and killed 81 people.

"The aftermath is much, much worse than what happened after the quake two years ago," Ma said. "I have never felt such strong tremors before. What I can see are all ruins."

Xinhua said there are 181 missing.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a statement saying he is "saddened by the loss of life, and the damage to homes and infrastructure in southern China."

The UN head offered his condolences to "the families of those killed, and his deepest sympathies to those who were injured or otherwise affected in this disaster."
Victims in remote areas

At least 122 of the dead were in Ludian, with another 1,300 people injured there, Xinhua reported. It said another 49 people died and 102 were injured in Qiaojia county.




Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the quake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years. (The Associated Press)
News reports said rescuers were still trying to reach victims in more remote towns Sunday night.


Photos on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media site, showed rescuers searching through flattened buildings and people injured amid toppled bricks.

Many of the homes that collapsed in Ludian, which has a population of about 429,000, were old and made of brick, Xinhua said, adding that electricity and telecommunications were cut off in the county.

The mountainous region where the quake occurred is largely agricultural, with farming and mining the top industries, and is prone to earthquakes.

Relief efforts were underway, with more than 2,500 troops dispatched to the disaster region, Xinhua said. The Red Cross Society of China allocated quilts, jackets and tents for those made homeless by the quake, while Red Cross branches in Hong Kong, Macau and neighboring Sichuan province also sent relief supplies.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the quake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years.

In 1970, a magnitude-7.7 earthquake in Yunnan killed at least 15,000 people, and a magnitude-7.1 quake in the province killed more than 1,400 in 1974. In September 2012, 81 people died and 821 were injured in a series of quakes in the Yunnan region.

In May 2008, a powerful quake in Sichuan province left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing.

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