BEIJING – A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 has claimed the lives of at least 111 people in a mountainous region in northwestern China, according to the country’s state media.
The quake struck just before midnight on Monday and resulted in the deaths of 100 people in the province of Gansu, with another 11 fatalities reported in the neighboring province of Qinghai. Over 200 individuals were also injured, with 96 in Gansu and 124 in Qinghai. The epicenter of the earthquake was located in Gansu’s Jishishan county, near the provincial boundary with Qinghai.
The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the magnitude of the earthquake as 5.9.
Reports from state broadcaster CCTV indicated that there was significant damage to water and electricity lines, transportation systems, and communication infrastructure. Even the Gansu provincial capital of Lanzhou, which is approximately 900 miles southwest of Beijing, felt the impact of the earthquake.
Following the disaster, university students in Lanzhou hurriedly vacated their dormitories, seeking safety outside, as seen in images shared on social media.
Efforts are underway to provide aid to the affected area, including the delivery of tents, folding beds, and quilts. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has called for a comprehensive search and rescue operation aimed at minimizing further casualties.
This tragic event follows a deadly earthquake that struck China’s southwestern province of Sichuan in September last year. With a magnitude of 6.8, it claimed the lives of at least 74 people and led to landslides and building damage in the provincial capital of Chengdu, where 21 million residents were under a COVID-19 lockdown.
Notably, China’s most devastating earthquake in recent history occurred in 2008. With a magnitude of 7.9, it resulted in the deaths of nearly 90,000 people in Sichuan. The earthquake brought widespread destruction to towns, schools, and rural communities outside Chengdu, prompting a long-term rebuilding effort aimed at using more resilient materials.