World
At least 367 dead in southwest China quake
Publish Date: Aug 03, 2014
At least 367 dead in southwest China quake
A Chinese rescuer carries a baby after an earthquake hit an area of Ludian county in Zhaotong in southwest Chinas Yunnan province. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

BEIJING - More than 367 people died and almost 2,000 were injured when a strong earthquake hit southwest China's mountainous Yunnan province Sunday, bringing homes crashing to the ground and sparking a massive relief operation.

The quake in Zhaotong prefecture, in the province's northeast, toppled buildings and left rescue teams and residents to pull survivors from beneath the rubble, images on social media showed.

"At least 367 people have been killed and 1,881 people were injured," the official news agency Xinhua reported early Monday, citing rescuers and raising a previous toll given minutes earlier of 357.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported the quake at a magnitude of 6.1 and said it struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (six miles) at 4:30 pm (0830 GMT).

Chinese rescuers carry an injuried resident after an earthquake hit an area of Ludian county in Zhaotong in southwest China's Yunnan province on August 3, 2014. PHOTO/AFP

"Too many buildings were damaged and we are collecting data on deaths and injuries," Xinhua quoted local official Chen Guoyong as saying in the township of Longtoushan, which sits at the epicentre.

State television broadcast footage of people running from their homes and gathering in the streets, as witnesses described the devastation on social networks.

"The walls of several buildings crumbled, and water pipes were ruptured. The electricity was cut off," wrote a user in Ludian county, 23 kilometres from the epicentre, on China's Twitter-like Weibo.

The user's message was accompanied by images of cracked walls and a pile of bricks strewn across the road.

Another Ludian resident described the scene as resembling a "battlefield after bombardment", telling Xinhua: "I have never felt (such) strong tremors before. What I can see are all ruins."

The county was the worst hit, with 122 residents killed, more than 180 missing and 1,300 injured. At least another 53 deaths were recorded in neighbouring districts. Electricity and telecommunications have been cut across the area

Ludian has a population of nearly 266,000 and sits more than 300 kilometres from the provincial capital of Kunming.

'Help those alive first'

State media announced that 2,500 troops had been dispatched to quake-hit areas late Sunday, joining a team of more than 300 police and firefighters from Zhaotong City, the capital of the prefecture.

Equipment brought to the area included life detection instruments and excavating tools.

The province also sent 392 rescuers and sniffer dogs to aid the relief operation.

Volunteer Ma Hao, a college student who was helping to carry the injured out of the collapsed buildings in Longtoushan, described a race to pull the living from the rubble that left little time for the dead.

"We had no time to take care of the bodies. We need to help those alive first," he told Xinhua.

A second quake of 4.1 magnitude was registered just two-and-a-half hours later, 18 kilometres south of Zhaotong City, USGS said.

Heavy rain in the vicinity may pose challenges to rescuers, with more downpours forecast in the coming week.

USGS had warned that people in the region lived in structures "highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking".

Complicating matters, the road leading to Longtoushan was damaged in a landslide before the quake .

Chinese state media put the magnitude of the first earthquake at 6.5, citing the China Earthquake Networks Center.

Southwest China lies where the Eurasian and Indian plates meet and is prone to earthquakes. In 1974, a 6.8-magnitude quake in the same area killed more than 1,500 people.

In September 2012, 80 people were killed when twin earthquakes struck the mountainous border area of Yunnan and Guizhou.

In May 2008, an 8.0-magnitude quake rocked Sichuan, which neighbours Yunnan, killing tens of thousands of people and flattening swathes of the province.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Philippines to charge Australian on child sex charges
Philippine prosecutors said Thursday they would will file human trafficking and murder charges against an Australian man who allegedly sexually assaulted babies and children as part of a booming cyber-sex trade....
Australians on Indonesia death row arrive on execution island
Two Australian drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, in Indonesia have been transferred to an island where they will be executed....
Emwazi father says no proof his son is
The father of "Jihadi John" said in an interview published Wednesday that there was no proof that his son was the Islamic State executioner, adding there were a number of "false rumours" circulating....
Protests over police killing of homeless man
Angry protesters hit the streets after graphic video footage that went viral shows police shooting dead a homeless man....
Netanyahu denounces Obama push for Iran nuclear deal
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced President Barack Obama's drive for a nuclear accord with Iran on Tuesday, warning Washington is paving Tehran's path to a bomb....
Indian state bans beef
The sale or possession of beef is an offense punishable by a five-year jail term or a 10,000 rupee ($160) fine....
Is KCCA doing enough to curb poor hygeine?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter