• Thursday, October 02, 2014

China earthquake death toll hits 175

BBC Online
A general view shows collapsed houses after an earthquake hit Ludian county, Yunnan province August 3, 2014. Photo: Reuters
A general view shows collapsed houses after an earthquake hit Ludian county, Yunnan province August 3, 2014. Photo: Reuters

At least 175 people have been killed and some 1,300 injured after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck in south-west China, state media say.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck about 11km (7 miles) north-west of Wenping in Yunnan province at 16:30 local time (08:30 GMT).

A major rescue and relief operation is under way.

State broadcaster CCTV said the earthquake was the strongest to hit the province in 14 years.

The USGS said the quake struck at a depth of about 10km in a remote mountainous area in Yunnan province.

The tremor was also felt in the neighbouring provinces of Guizhou and Sichuan.

 

 

Xinhua said about 12,000 homes had collapsed in Ludian, a county of some 439,000 people, north-east of Yunnan province's capital, Kunming.

All of the casualties reported so far are in Qiaojia County of the Zhaotong region, which appeared to be the hardest hit.

Paramilitary policemen carry an injured child on a stretcher as they carry out rescue operations after an earthquake hit Longtoushan township of Ludian county, Yunnan province August 3, 2014. Photo: Reuters
Paramilitary policemen carry an injured child on a stretcher as they carry out rescue operations after an earthquake hit Longtoushan township of Ludian county, Yunnan province August 3, 2014. Photo: Reuters

Ma Liya, a resident of Zhaotong, told Xinhua that the streets there were like "battlefield after bombardment", adding her neighbour's house, a new two-storey building, had collapsed.

The government is sending 2,000 tents, 3,000 folding beds, 3,000 quilts and 3,000 coats to the disaster zone, the report said.

A building is damaged after an earthquake hit Ludian county, Yunnan province August 3, 2014. Photo: Reuters
A building is damaged after an earthquake hit Ludian county, Yunnan province August 3, 2014. Photo: Reuters

After initial reports of a death toll of 26, Xinhua reported that the number killed had risen sharply, to 150.

The news agency says the epicentre of the earthquake was in Longtoushan in Yunnan's Ludian county.

Chen Guoyong, the head of Longtoushan township, told Xinhua that many houses had fallen and rescuers had been sent to the epicentre.

Many people rushed out of buildings onto the street after the quake hit, electricity supplies were cut and at least one school collapsed, Xinhua reports.

Communications have also been seriously affected.

South-west China lies in an area that is prone to earthquakes.

Photo taken from BBC
Photo taken from BBC

An earthquake in Sichuan in 2008 killed tens of thousands of people.

And in 1970, a magnitude 7.7 quake in Yunnan killed at least 15,000 people.

Published: 7:09 pm Sunday, August 03, 2014

Last modified: 9:30 pm Sunday, August 03, 2014

TAGS: China 6.1 earthquake Wenping in Yunnan province

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