A powerful earthquake struck northwestern China on Monday night. So far, 111 people have been killed and 220 injured. It is feared that the number of casualties will increase. This information was reported by the British media BBC with reference to the Chinese state media.
The earthquake hit Gansu Province at midnight yesterday at 11:59 PM. The earthquake also destroyed many buildings in Gansu and neighboring Qinghai Province. The USGS said the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.9 on the Richter scale and a depth of 10 km. However, the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.1. Its origin is 102 km west-southwest of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province, at a depth of 35 km below the surface.
Local media reported that the rescue operation started soon after the earthquake. The rescue workers are continuing the rescue operation fighting against the severe winter. The temperature in Gansu province is now minus 13 degrees.
Gansu is a province located between the Tibetan and Loess Plateaus. Chinese Muslim Hui people live here. Video footage showed rescuers searching for victims in the rubble of the collapsed building. Debris was also found on the floor of the collapsed house. The roofs of many houses have partially collapsed.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered rescue operations. In a statement, he said, “All efforts are being made to treat the injured in time and reduce the number of casualties, including search and rescue.”
State media Xinhua reported that 100 people were killed and 96 injured in Gansu. On the other hand, 11 people were killed and 124 injured in Qinghai province. Electricity and water supply has also been disrupted in some parts of these areas.
Such earthquakes are a common occurrence in China. In August this year, a magnitude 5.4 earthquake hit the eastern part of the country. No one was killed but 23 people were injured. Several buildings collapsed.
More than 60 people died in a 6.6-magnitude earthquake in southwest China’s Sichuan province last September.
China lies on a tectonic plate where the Eurasian, Indian and Pacific plates meet. As a result, the tendency of earthquakes is high here.
Earlier in 1920, a powerful earthquake in Gansu killed more than 200,000 people. The earthquake was recorded as the world’s deadliest earthquake of the 20th century.