October 1, 2020

At least 11 dead In Sichuan earthquakes In China

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A string of strong earthquakes hit the southwestern province of Sichuan late on Monday, killing at least 11 with more than 120 people injured, according to state media Xinhua. 

Rescuers were quickly working to pull any survivors from the rubble after two major quakes hit the area, roughly 30 minutes apart.

Even the provincial capital of Chengdu and the metropolis of Chongqing reported strong shaking around 10:55 pm (1455 GMT), according to local reports. 

Social media accounts described how many people rushed into the street after the buildings swayed and after the quake, several buildings had newly formed large cracks. 

State television said the earthquake was centered in a largely rural area and rescuers were working around the clock and despite heavy rain to try and rescue any injured victims. 

A quake of magnitude 5.9 was followed by a smaller one of 5.2 magnitude, both occurring at a depth of 10 km (6 miles) and centered near Changning county, the United States Geological Survey said.

The China Earthquake Administration said there were several aftershocks but the first major quake was at a depth of 16 kilometers (10 miles). 

The USGS warned “extensive damage is probable and the disaster is likely widespread” earlier on Monday. 

Local officials said the fatalities and injuries were all recorded in Changning and Gongxian counties. 

One hotel close to the epicenter had collapsed, but it’s unclear if there were any casualties reported from that site, according to rescuers. 

More than 300 firefighters have been dispatched to the scene, with rescue personnel armed with 10,000 folding cots, 5,000 tents, and other emergency supplies for those displaced by the natural disaster.

Earthquakes routinely strike Sichuan, including three which hit Rongxian county in the province, killing two in February and wounding 12 more. 

Locals blamed an increase in fracking for those casualties, which local authorities acknowledged by halting shale gas mining after continued protests. 

The area was also hit by a powerful 7.9-magnitude quake left 87,000 people dead or missing in 2008.

WN.com, Maureen Foody

For more on this story and video go to: https://article.wn.com/view/2019/06/18/at_least_11_dead_in_sichuan_earthquakes/

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