• June 19, 2024, 12:14 am
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At least 127 dead in northwest China earthquake

News Desk
News Desk
Update: Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Rescuers in remote villages of
northwest China dug through the rubble of collapsed homes in freezing
conditions on Tuesday after the country’s deadliest earthquake in years
killed at least 127 people.

State media said the shallow tremor just before midnight had caused the
deaths of at least 113 and injured more than 530 in impoverished Gansu
province, as of Tuesday afternoon.

A further 14 died and 198 were injured in Haidong in neighbouring Qinghai
province, state-run newspaper the People’s Daily reported.

The quake damaged more than 155,000 buildings, according to state broadcaster
CCTV, and sent residents running into the freezing streets for safety.

At a village near the epicentre, AFP reporters saw huge cracks running
through the exterior and interior walls of a brick home, and the roof of a
building that had caved in completely.

“I am 70 and I have never experienced such a powerful quake in my life,”
resident Ma Wenchang told AFP.

“I can’t live (in this house) anymore because it’s too dangerous. My
relatives have been relocated somewhere else.”

At another location, the top of a mosque had collapsed askew, and another
building was reduced to mere rubble.

The roads were full of emergency vehicles, and the AFP team saw trucks
covered in red banners reading “earthquake relief supplies”.

As evening fell, volunteers scrambled to set up tents in a town square to
make a base for rescuers.

Two dozen military trucks were parked nearby.

“The most urgent task for us is to make things ready quickly as temperatures
will reach -17 (degrees Celsius) tonight,” a volunteer told AFP.

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