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China's Gansu Province Hit By Powerful Earthquakes


World  (tags: asia, china, deathtoll, earthquake )

Kit
- 513 days ago - bbc.co.uk
Two powerful earthquakes have struck China's north-west Gansu province, killing at least 75 people and leaving more than 400 others injured.



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Kit B. (276)
Monday July 22, 2013, 9:56 am
Photo Credit: BBC World News


Two powerful earthquakes have struck China's north-west Gansu province, killing at least 75 people and leaving more than 400 others injured.

The first earthquake near Dingxi city had a magnitude of 5.98 and was shallow, with a depth of just 9.8 km (6 miles), the US Geological Survey said.

Just over an hour later, a magnitude 5.6 quake hit the same area, it added.

In 2008, an earthquake in Sichuan province left up to 90,000 people dead and millions homeless.

A factory worker in Minxian county told AFP that he felt "violent shaking" and "ran to the yard of the [factory] plant immediately".

"Our factory is only one floor. When I came to the yard, I saw an 18-storey building, the tallest in our county, shaking ferociously, especially the 18th floor," he said.

The area has been hit by 371 aftershocks, according to the Earthquake Administration of Gansu province.

Tremors were felt in the provincial capital, Lanzhou, and as far away as Xian, 400km (250 miles) to the east.

At least 5,600 houses in the province's Zhangxian county are seriously damaged and 380 have collapsed, while some areas suffered from power cuts or mobile communications being disrupted, the earthquake administration added.

"Many have been injured by collapsed houses," a doctor based in Minxian county was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying. "Many villagers have gone to local hospitals along the roads."

The earthquake has caused a direct economic loss of 198 million yuan ($32m; 21m), the Dingxi government said on its microblog.

'Vibrating'

Both the Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang had called Gansu province to express their concern for the victims and stress the importance of the rescue operations being conducted well, the Dingxi government added.

Crews of fire fighters and rescue dogs have already arrived at the scene, the BBC's Celia Hatton in Beijing reports.

The closer to the surface an earthquake strikes, the more damage it can cause, our correspondent adds.

The earthquake reportedly triggered a series of mudslides and landslides, making it difficult for rescuers to access some areas hit by the quake.

The Gansu military police have deployed 500 soldiers, including 120 specialist rescuers, while 500 emergency tents and 2,000 quilts are also being transported to affected areas, Xinhua added.

Officials from the civil affairs, transportation and earthquake departments were also visiting local towns to assess the damage, a statement on the Dingxi party website said.

Rain is expected in the region later, leading to fears that this will make rescue efforts more difficult, or cause more landslides.

"Showery weather is expected tomorrow, and lighter rain the day after that. The rain may have an adverse effect on rescue efforts - please pay attention and be on guard!" the Dingxi government wrote on its microblog.

Residents in towns near the earthquake also reported feeling the tremors.

"You could see the chandeliers wobble and the windows vibrating and making noise, but there aren't any cracks in the walls," AP news agency quoted a clerk at Wuyang Hotel, about 40 km (25 miles) from the epicentre, as saying.

"Shop assistants all poured out onto the streets when the shaking began," the clerk said.
***

Videos, and pictures from Reuters and BBC World News
 

Jae A. (321)
Monday July 22, 2013, 12:53 pm
Living between two fault lines this is one of those things that you just want to look away from and not read..but I did.....

 

pam w. (191)
Monday July 22, 2013, 3:56 pm
Here's something even SCARIER....the Yangtse river exists in a channel which was created by faults.

WHEN (not "if") that fault slips....the incredible weight of the Three Gorges Dam and the Yangtse back-up might very well break the dam and flood millions of people....

The Chinese just ''pooh-poohed" the concerns of credible American geologists because they want the power and to control the Yangtse flooding.

 

iveta cer (66)
Monday July 22, 2013, 4:17 pm
Sad , poor people
 

Sandra Patterson (61)
Monday July 22, 2013, 4:23 pm
noted :(
 

Michael Kirkby (86)
Monday July 22, 2013, 4:25 pm
Living between the two plates is disconcerting Jae. However they are relatively stable. It is the morass of minor fault lines which are responsible for most of the quakes. Now if we disturb Yosemite; that could affect Yellowstone which could cause the San Andreas and the North American plates to interact which in turn could cause action on the Pacific Plate which interconnects with the Cascadia. Now that's scary. More fracking and oil exploration anyone?
 

S J. (118)
Monday July 22, 2013, 4:39 pm
์Noted, thanks Kit. I hope I can help something from here.
 

Ros G. (86)
Monday July 22, 2013, 4:45 pm
Thanks for the article Kit..saw it on SBS Australia last night..haven't had any first hand reports as my daughter doesn't live near that Province but one thing I know..is that the Chinese government acts fast..incredibly fast with the rescue effect and getting supplies through..and rebuilding..she lives in a city with 26 million and when there is heavy rain..the military police can put no-slip covers on all the pavements in a day for the safety of pedestrians. The first time she saw it happen she thought there was a invasion happening. Still all these earthquakes, tornadoes, and cyclones are not a good thing no matter where you live..it's always heartbreaking to hear of the devastation they leave behind. Pam W..which country puts it's citizens first over so called progress?
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday July 22, 2013, 4:59 pm

Thanks Ros for the additional information about how the Chinese react to earthquakes and how quickly their actions for saving people.
 

Ros G. (86)
Monday July 22, 2013, 5:19 pm
Thanks Kit..
 

. (0)
Tuesday July 23, 2013, 2:28 am
Noted. Thanks Kit! I reserve my comment.
 

Twyla Sparks (208)
Tuesday July 23, 2013, 12:22 pm
noted, Thank you kit
 

GGmaSheila D. (169)
Tuesday July 23, 2013, 11:31 pm
Noted, with prayers to the people. Thank you.
 
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