SW China earthquake kills 46 and triggers landslides

BEIJING (AFP) – At least 46 people were killed and 16 missing in a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Monday, causing landslides and shaking buildings in the provincial capital Chengdu, where 21 million residents already live. under the weight of war. COVID-19 insurance.

The China Earthquake Networks Center said the quake hit a mountainous area in Luoding County shortly after noon.

Sichuan Province, which sits on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau where tectonic plates meet, experiences earthquakes on a regular basis. Two earthquakes in June At least four people were killed.

State broadcaster CCTV said the death toll had risen to 46 and 16 missing as the search for those trapped continued on Monday night.

Earlier, authorities reported 7 deaths in Luoding County and another 14 in neighboring Ximian County to the south. Three of the dead were workers in the Heilogu Scenic Area, a forest and glacier nature reserve.

Besides the deaths, authorities have reported falling stones and soil from mountainsides, causing damage to homes and power outages, CCTV reported. The Ministry of Emergency Management said a landslide closed a rural highway, leaving it littered with stones.

Buildings shook in Chengdu, 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the epicenter. Resident Jiang Danli said she hid under a desk for five minutes in her 31st-floor apartment. Many of her neighbors rushed downstairs, fearing the aftershocks.

“There was a strong earthquake in June, but it wasn’t very scary. This time I was really scared, because I live on a high floor and the shivering made me dizzy,” she told The Associated Press.

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The earthquake and shutdown were followed by a heat wave and drought that led to water shortages and power outages due to Sichuan’s dependence on hydropower. It comes on top of the latest major shutdown under China’s strict “zero COVID” policy.

Jiang said the past two months in Chengdu “have been strange.”

The US Geological Survey recorded a magnitude of 6.6 for Monday’s earthquake at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km (6 miles). Initial measurements by different agencies often vary slightly.

The deadliest earthquake in China in recent years was the 7.9-magnitude earthquake in 2008 that killed nearly 90,000 people in Sichuan. The earthquake destroyed towns, schools, and rural communities outside Chengdu, leading to years of efforts to rebuild with more resistant materials.

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