Deadly earthquake shakes part of south-western China


A strong earthquake killed at least seven people, triggered landslides and shook residents in a major city under lockdown in south-western China, state media reported.

The 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck a mountainous area in Luding county in Sichuan province shortly after noon (5am BST), the China Earthquake Networks Centre said.

Sichuan, which sits on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau where tectonic plates meet, is regularly hit by earthquakes. Two quakes in June killed at least four people.

Authorities reported seven deaths, landslides and damage to homes and power cuts, state broadcaster CCTV said.

One landslide blocked a major rural road, leaving it strewn with rocks, the Ministry of Emergency Management said.

The quake was felt 125 miles away in the provincial capital, Chengdu, where a Covid-19 outbreak has restricted most of its 21 million residents to their compounds under China’s strict “zero-Covid” policy.

Resident Jiang Danli said she hid under a desk for five minutes in her 31st floor apartment, while many of her neighbours rushed downstairs.

“There was a strong earthquake in June, but it wasn’t very scary. This time I was really scared, because I live on a high floor and the shaking made me dizzy,” she told The Associated Press.

The earthquake and lockdown follow a heatwave and drought that led to water shortages and power cuts due to Sichuan’s reliance on hydropower.

The past two months in Chengdu “have been weird,” Ms Jiang said.

The US Geological Survey recorded a magnitude of 6.6 for Monday’s quake at a relatively shallow depth of six miles. Preliminary measurements by different agencies often differ slightly.

China’s deadliest earthquake in recent years was a 7.9 magnitude quake in 2008 that killed nearly 90,000 people in Sichuan.

The tremor devastated towns, schools and rural communities outside Chengdu, leading to a years-long effort to rebuild with more resistant materials.


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