A fatal earthquake in Northwest China results in 118 fatalities and multiple injuries

In northwest China, an earthquake led to the loss of at least 118 lives as buildings crumbled, according to state media reports on Tuesday.

Rescue operations are underway, with workers racing against time to clear debris following the tragic event.

The province of Gansu bore the brunt of the disaster, reporting 105 fatalities and numerous injuries due to a powerful and shallow tremor, as confirmed by the provincial earthquake relief headquarters cited by state broadcaster CCTV. In the neighboring Qinghai province, the city of Haidong witnessed 11 fatalities and 100 injuries, according to CCTV.

The seismic activity, measuring a magnitude of 5.9 according to the US Geological Survey, struck near the border of Gansu and Qinghai, affecting Haidong. The epicenter was around 100 kilometers southwest of Lanzhou, Gansu’s capital. Subsequent smaller aftershocks followed the initial quake.

The destructive earthquake caused substantial damage, resulting in collapsed houses and forcing people to seek safety on the streets, as reported by state news agency Xinhua. President Xi Jinping has called for “all-out efforts” in search and rescue operations, stressing the importance of ensuring the safety of survivors and their property.

Rescue efforts are facing challenges due to freezing temperatures across northern China. Local villages have experienced disruptions in power and water supplies, with footage from affected areas showing residents gathered around fires while emergency services set up tents. Xinhua reported the earthquake as magnitude 6.2, and CCTV captured images of emergency vehicles traveling along snow-covered highways to the scene. Rescue teams, dressed in protective gear, were observed tirelessly navigating debris and aiding the injured.

This recent earthquake is part of a series of seismic activities in China, with earthquakes occurring periodically.

In August, a 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit eastern China, resulting in injuries and building collapses.

In September 2022, Sichuan province experienced a 6.6-magnitude quake that led to nearly 100 deaths. The catastrophic 7.9-magnitude quake in 2008 claimed over 87,000 lives, including thousands of schoolchildren.

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