More than 100 people killed in earthquake in China


Tuesday, December 19, 2023 – At least 118 people have been killed and 500 injured after an earthquake hit northwestern China in a remote and mountainous region while many were asleep.

The strong shallow earthquake struck shortly before midnight on Monday, sending residents fleeing outside, into below freezing temperatures.

Thousands of houses have been reported damaged, and state media also said public infrastructure had been damaged “to varying degrees”.

The death toll rose on Tuesday morning as rescuers reached affected areas. Gansu authorities said 105 had died in the province, and 397 people had been injured. Qinghai reported 13 dead, 182 injured, and 20 still missing.

It is the deadliest earthquake in China since the 2010 Yushu quake, which also hit Gansu and Qinghai, which measured 6.9 and killed at least 2,698 people.

China’s President , Xi Jinping, called for “all-out efforts” in the search and rescue work. More than 3,000 firefighters have been deployed or placed on standby, and hundreds of military personnel have been sent to the area.

The ministries of finance and emergency management have allocated 200 million RMB (£ 22.1m) in emergency relief funds, according to state media.

Han, the Gansu spokesperson, said rescue work was proceeding in an orderly manner and asked people to avoid going to the quake-hit areas to prevent traffic jams that could hinder the effort.

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