Chi­nese earth­quake leaves 19 dead

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

JI­UZHAIGOU: A 7.0-mag­ni­tude earth­quake struck a re­mote, moun­tain­ous part of China’s south-west­ern prov­ince of Sichuan, killing 19 peo­ple, in­clud­ing eight tourists, and in­jur­ing 247, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment and of­fi­cial me­dia said yes­ter­day.

The quake hit a sparsely pop­u­lated area 200km north-west of the city of Guangyuan late on Tues­day at a depth of 10km, the US Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey said. It was also close to the Ji­uzhaigou na­ture re­serve, a tourist des­ti­na­tion. Sichuan is fre­quently struck by tremors.

A huge quake there in May 2008 killed al­most 70 000 peo­ple. A sep­a­rate quake of mag­ni­tude 6.6 hit a re­mote part of China’s far north-west­ern re­gion of Xin­jiang, more than 2 000km away, yes­ter­day, the Chi­nese earth­quake ad­min­is­tra­tion said. The Peo­ple’s Daily said 32 peo­ple had been in­jured in the mostly ru­ral area.

The Sichuan gov­ern­ment said res­cuers were grad­u­ally evac­u­at­ing tourists and res­i­dents who had been cut off by land­slides. It added that 19 peo­ple had been killed, but most of those in­jured were not se­ri­ously hurt. The dead in­cluded eight tourists, two res­i­dents and nine whose iden­ti­ties have yet to be con­firmed, state tele­vi­sion said.

In nearby Long­nan in the neigh­bour­ing prov­ince of Gansu, also jolted by the quake, eight peo­ple died in land­slides caused by heavy rain, the Peo­ple’s Daily said. The Sichuan gov­ern­ment added that 45 000 tourists had been evac­u­ated from the quake zone with just 1 000 more still wait­ing to leave. A few dozen tourists were camped out at Ji­uzhaigou air­port, wait­ing for flights. The air­port was open and be­gin­ning to evac­u­ate peo­ple by air, state me­dia said.

A trav­eller with a young daugh­ter who gave his fam­ily name as Li said he was in his ho­tel when the earth­quake hit.

“The walls and floor shook. Some things fell off the ta­ble,” he said.

Some peo­ple were in­jured in the ho­tel but most were fine.

“The res­cue ser­vices showed up quickly and gave us wa­ter and things to eat,” Li said, adding that he re­ceived pri­or­ity in evac­u­a­tion since he was ac­com­pa­nied by a small child. Reuters

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