Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

Rescuers dig in freezing cold after China quake kills 131

People huddle around a fire after an earthquake in northwest China’s Gansu province killed 131 people and damaged thousands of buildings
People huddle around a fire after an earthquake in northwest China’s Gansu province killed 131 people and damaged thousands of buildings - Copyright AFP Pedro Pardo
People huddle around a fire after an earthquake in northwest China’s Gansu province killed 131 people and damaged thousands of buildings - Copyright AFP Pedro Pardo

Rescuers dug through rubble for a second freezing day on Wednesday after overnight temperatures plunged well below zero, with the death toll in China’s deadliest earthquake in years rising to 131.

State broadcaster CCTV said at least 113 people were killed in northwestern Gansu province and 18 more in neighbouring Qinghai after a shallow tremor on Monday night damaged thousands of buildings.

The quake was China’s deadliest since 2014, when more than 600 people were killed in southwestern Yunnan province.

China’s western hinterland carries the scars of frequent seismic activity. A huge quake in Sichuan province in 2008 left more than 87,000 people dead or missing, including 5,335 schoolchildren.

“The treatment and rescue of the injured as well as emergency infrastructure repair are ongoing,” CCTV said on Wednesday.

The US Geological Survey said Monday night’s magnitude-5.9 quake struck at a shallow depth at 11:59 pm local time (1559 GMT) with an epicentre around 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Gansu’s provincial capital, Lanzhou.

Dozens of smaller aftershocks followed and officials warned that tremors with a magnitude of more than 5.0 were possible in the next few days.

Fears are growing that survivors awaiting rescue could succumb to the bitter cold, with temperatures at the epicentre in Gansu’s Jishishan county expected to dip as low as -17 degrees Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday.

AFP reporters saw residents in the remote town of Dahejia, near the quake’s epicentre, huddling around small fires outdoors on Tuesday, afraid to return to badly damaged dwellings.

Thousands of firefighters and rescue personnel have been sent to the disaster zone and state media said 2,500 tents, 20,000 coats and 5,000 rollaway beds had been sent to Gansu.

AFP
Written By

With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

You may also like:

Social Media

Harris memes have been surging for weeks as the so-called "KHive" -- her online fandom -- pushed her as an alternative to her boss.

Social Media

These are posted by accounts who are really just looking to gain more followers.

Social Media

Kamala Harris faces a wave of gendered disinformation in the race to the White House. - Copyright AFP Brendan SMIALOWSKIAnuj CHOPRADoctored images, sexual slurs,...

World

Access to enough nutritious food is essential for individual well-being.