Wednesday, April 14, 2010

China: Scores killed in 6.9 quake

At least 67 people have died and dozens are feared trapped following a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in west China. The quake struck at 07:49 local time [13/04/2010 23:49 UTC] and was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks. The epicentre was located in a remote, mountainous area about 240 kilometres northwest of Qamdo, Tibet [33.263N,  96.665E]. Qinghai borders the autonomous regions of Tibet and Xingjiang and the provinces of Gansu and Sichuan.

A Chinese military official told Xinhua news agency that the death toll was expected to rise given the damage to homes. Soldiers are said to have been dispatched to set up up tents and transport oxygen for the injured. However given the remote location rescue efforts may be hampered. Xinhua said the quake hit the county of Yushu, a Tibetan region of Qinghai, home to about 80,000 people.

Karsum Nyima, deputy director of news at local Yushu TV, told Xinhua that most of the houses in the area were made of wood with earthen walls. He said some had collapsed, including a Buddhist pagoda in a park.

In 2008, 70,000 people died when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake rocked neighbouring Sichuan province, northwest of its capital, Chengdu [CNN / AJE / BBC / Xinhua].

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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