More than 5,000 homes have been destroyed by a powerful earthquake in northwest China, officials in Gansu province said. Many injured people have already been rescued from the rubble. The rescue workers are carrying out the rescue work in the severe winter in minus 13 degree Celsius temperature. The British media BBC reported this information.
A powerful earthquake hit China’s Gansu province late Monday night. So far, 118 people have been killed and 220 injured. The number of casualties is expected to increase.
According to USGS, the magnitude of the earthquake was 5.9 on the Richter scale and the depth was 10 km. However, the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) reported that 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.
A captain of the Gansu Houtian Emergency Rescue Corps said several people had already been rescued. But the rescue operation is hampered by extreme cold temperatures. The rescue operation is also running out of time.
According to the BBC report, most of the roads in China are still covered with snow. Temperatures in northern China have dropped below freezing. Rescue workers and army personnel are carrying out rescue operations in minus 13 degrees Celsius. In such a situation, the Gansu authorities have appealed for more rescue workers on social media.
Gansu authorities said in a statement that at least 300 more rescue workers are urgently needed to rescue people buried under the rubble.
Chinese authorities have already set up temporary shelters. China’s Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Emergency Management have allocated about 200 million yuan in natural disaster relief funds for Gansu and Qinghai provinces, they said. This equates to $28 million in US currency.
Such earthquakes are a common occurrence in China. In August this year, an earthquake of magnitude 5.4 struck the eastern part of the country. No one was killed but 23 people were injured. Several buildings collapsed.
Last September, more than 60 people died in an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
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.