At Least 86 Dead in Gansu Earthquake
UPDATE (July 22, 6:45 am PST): Chinese media are now reporting that 86 people have died and more than 500 have been injured in Monday’s earthquake in Min County in Gansu:
— CCTV America (@CCTV_America) July 22, 2013
Emergency services are converging on the area, including the Red Cross Society of China, which is sending 200 tents and other supplies to shelter and sustain those left without homes.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged crews to prioritize the rescue of survivors and minimize casualties.
The original quake and powerful aftershocks caused roofs to collapse, cut telecommunications lines and damaged a major highway linking the provincial capital of Lanzhou to the south, according to the China Daily newspaper.
More than 300 armed police troops and 64 heavy machines have been dispatched to repair National Highway No. 212, the paper reported. Train services in the area have also been suspended. [Source]
The earthquake hit Gansu Province Monday morning. From CNN:
Earlier, state broadcast CCTV reported that another 279 people were injured.
The quake hit the province of Gansu around 7:45 a.m. local time, according to state news agency Xinhua.
The Gansu Provincial Seismological Bureau recorded its magnitude as 6.6, however the U.S. Geological Survey measured it as a 5.9-magnitude tremor, which struck at the relatively shallow depth of about half a mile (1 kilometer).
Tremors were still being felt from the quake, Xinhua said, quoting sources within the Min County government. Locals said buildings and trees shook for about a minute. [Source]
In Gansu’s Zhangxian county, at least 5,600 houses were seriously damaged and 380 collapsed, while some areas suffered from power cuts or mobile communications being disrupted, the earthquake administration added.
Officials from the civil affairs, transportation and earthquake departments are visiting local towns to assess the damage, a statement on the Dingxi party website said.
Crews of fire fighters and rescue dogs have already arrived at the scene, the BBC’s Celia Hatton in Beijing reports. [Source]
[This post has been edited to reflect the updated death toll and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.]