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Subzero Temperatures Threaten Rescues as 126 Perish in China's Strongest Quake in Nearly a Decade

6 months ago
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The powerful 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck northwest China late Monday night, killing at least 126 people and injuring hundreds more. The quake, centered in Jishishan County in the mountainous Gansu province, is China's deadliest seismic event since 2014.

Rescuers worked through the frigid winter night to pull survivors from the rubble as residents huddled outside in the bitter cold.

As of Tuesday morning, the death toll stood at 126 with over 700 injured and extensive damage reported. The majority of the casualties occurred in Gansu province, where at least 113 were killed and over 550 injured.

In neighboring Qinghai province, another 13 deaths and 182 injuries were recorded. Rescuers have so far pulled 67 earthquake survivors from collapsed buildings and evacuated 685 people from Gansu.

However, rescue efforts were hindered by severed water and electricity supplies along with downed mobile networks.

The earthquake struck at nearly midnight local time at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres. The epicentre was located near the border between Gansu and Qinghai provinces in the eastern Tibetan plateau.

The United States Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 5.9, while China's earthquake monitoring agency rated it slightly higher at 6.2. The initial tremors lasted around 20 seconds and were felt as far away as Lanzhou, Gansu's capital over 100 kilometers from the epicenter.


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