7.1 Magnitude Earthquake in Qinghai, China Kills 400 and Injuring 8000 People
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck China’s Qinghai province on the Tibetan Plateau, killing about 400 people and injuring 8,000 in the nation’s deadliest temblor since the May 2008 disaster in neighboring Sichuan.
The region urgently needs assistance, Xinhua News Agency said, citing Huang Liming, an official from Yushu prefecture, the ethnic Tibetan region where the quake struck. Many local homes have been destroyed, the provincial government said.
Many people remain buried under rubble and more than 85 percent of houses collapsed in the town of Jiegu close to the epicenter, according to Xinhua, which reported the death toll. The government dispatched about 3,000 paramilitary police to the area to help relief efforts, state-broadcaster China Central Television said.
The quake struck at 7:49 a.m. local time about 375 kilometers (235 miles) southeast of the city of Golmud at a depth of 10 kilometers, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. There were two aftershocks, it said.
The epicenter of the first quake was located 380 km south-southeast of Golmud, a large city in Qinghai, at a depth 10 km, the USGS said.
Ten minutes later, the area was hit by a magnitude 5.3 quake, which was followed after two minutes by a temblor measuring 5.2, according to the US agency. Both the subsequent earthquakes were measured at a depth of 10 km. Another quake, measuring 5.8, was recorded at 9:25 a.m.
Army help doing relief work and clearing the rumble after the Qinghai Earthquake
Xinhua cited officials at the China Earthquake Networks Center as saying at least 18 aftershocks have been reported and that more temblors exceeding magnitude 6 were likely to occur in the coming days.
In 2008, a magnitude-7.9 quake in Sichuan province left almost 90,000 people dead or missing. This latest earthquake also come just a few months after the massive earthquakes which hit Haiti and Chile. Caritas has been providing food, shelter, hygiene, counselling and is also helping in reconstruction in these two countries.