66 killed over 50,000 evacuated after 6.8-magnitude quake hits China’s Sichuan province

66 killed over 50,000 evacuated after 6.8-magnitude quake hits China’s Sichuan province


BEIJING/CHENGDU: The death toll from a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck southwestern China rose to 66 as rescuers searched for victims and survivors, local authorities said on Tuesday.
The powerful quake hit Luding County in Sichuan province on Monday.
Sixty-six people were killed and over 50,000 people evacuated after the quake, authorities said.
So far, 38 people have been killed in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and the other 28 died in the city of Ya’an, the rescue headquarters told a press briefing.
Four counties and one county-level city in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and two counties in Ya’an reported quake-related damages.
Luding County in Ganzi and Shimian County in Ya’an were the hardest-hit areas.
Fifteen people were missing and 253 were injured, with five persons in critical condition and 70 in serious condition, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Of the injured, 175 have been sent to hospitals for further treatment and six medical teams are working at the scene of the disaster.
The quake damaged houses, roads, water conservancy facilities, hydropower stations, telecommunications, and tourism and ecological infrastructure.
In Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, 243 rooms of residential houses collapsed and 13,010 rooms were damaged.
The quake also damaged electricity transmission lines and caused power outages in eight townships.
Several villages in the counties of Luding and Shimian were left isolated as roads leading to them were damaged. Boats are used to evacuate villagers, while transport authorities have sent 19 teams to quickly repair roads to facilitate rescue efforts.
Sichuan has activated the highest level of emergency response for the earthquake. As of Tuesday morning, over 6,600 firefighters, doctors and other rescue workers were engaged in the rescue and search operations.
The provincial emergency management department and the Sichuan branch of the Red Cross Society of China have sent over 89,000 items of disaster relief materials to the quake-hit areas.


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