Over 100 lives lost in 5.9 magnitude earthquake in northwest China

More than 100 people were killed in an overnight earthquake in China’s northwest Gansu province, state media reported Tuesday.

Scores more were injured in the province after the strong, shallow earthquake struck, state broadcaster CCTV said, citing the provincial earthquake relief headquarters.

According to CCTV, 11 people were also killed and more than 100 injured in the city of Haidong in the neighboring province of Qinghai.

The quake caused significant damage, including collapsed houses, and sent people running into the street for safety, state news agency Xinhua said.

Rescue work was under way early Tuesday, with Chinese President Xi Jinping calling for “all-out efforts” in the search and relief work.

The quake, which was logged as magnitude 5.9 by the US Geological Survey, struck in Gansu near the border with Qinghai, where Haidong is located.

This is about 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of Gansu province’s capital, Lanzhou, and was followed by several smaller aftershocks.

Xinhua reported the quake as magnitude 6.2.

Power and water supplies were disrupted in some local villages, Xinhua said.

Fallen ceilings and other debris could be seen in videos posted on social media.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres (six miles) at 11:59 pm local time Monday (1559 GMT), according to the USGS, which revised the magnitude downward after initially reporting 6.0.

Officials launched an emergency response and dispatched rescue personnel to the area just after the quake, and provincial leaders were also en route, Xinhua reported.

Earthquakes are not uncommon in China. In August, a shallow 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck eastern China, injuring 23 people and collapsing dozens of buildings.

In September 2022, a 6.6-magnitude quake hit Sichuan province leaving almost 100 dead.

A 7.9-magnitude quake in 2008 left more than 87,000 people dead or missing, including 5,335 school pupils.

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