People stand outside buildings after an earthquake was felt in Xian in central China's Shanxi province on Tuesday. (AFP file photo)

Earthquake in northwestern China kills at least 111 people in Gansu and Qinghai provinces

by · Arab News
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BEIJING: At least 111 people were killed in a magnitude 6.2 earthquake in a mountainous region in northwestern China, the country’s state media reported on Tuesday.

The official Xinhua News Agency said that 100 people died in the province of Gansu and another 11 in the neighboring province of Qinghai in the quake, which occurred just before midnight on Monday.

More than 200 people were injured, Xinhua said, 96 in Gansu and 124 in Qinghai. The quake struck in Gansu’s Jishishan county, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the provincial boundary with Qinghai.

The US Geological Survey put the quake’s magnitude at 5.9.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that there was damage to water and electricity lines, as well as transportation and communications infrastructure.

The earthquake was felt in Lanzhou, the Gansu provincial capital, about 1,450 kilometers (900 miles) southwest of the capital of Beijing.

University students in Lanzhou rushed out of their dorms, according to a social media post that had images showing young people standing outside.

Tents, folding beds and quilts were being sent to the disaster area, CCTV said. It quoted Chinese leader Xi Jinping as calling for an all-out search and rescue effort to minimize the casualties.

Last year in September, at least 46 people were reported killed in a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that shook China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, triggering landslides and shaking buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu, where 21 million residents were under a COVID-19 lockdown.

China’s deadliest earthquake in recent years was a 7.9 magnitude quake in 2008 that killed nearly 90,000 people in Sichuan. The temblor devastated towns, schools and rural communities outside Chengdu, leading to a years-long effort to rebuild with more resistant materials.