Strong quake hits China, 100 dead, injured
A strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit southwestern China’s Sichuan province on Saturday, killing at least 28 people and injuring at least 100 close to where a big quake killed almost 70,000 people in 2008.
The earthquake occurred at 8.02 a.m. (0002 GMT) in Lushan county near Ya’an city and the epicentre had a depth of 12 km (7.5 miles), the US Geological Survey said.
The quake was felt by residents in neighbouring provinces and in the provincial capital of Chengdu, causing many people to rush out of buildings, according to accounts on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service.
The official China News Service said 28 people had been confirmed dead. Other state media said about 100 were injured, four seriously.
State news agency Xinhua said 2,000 troops were heading to the area to help with rescue efforts. State television CCTV said only emergency vehicles were being allowed into Ya’an, though Chengdu airport had reopened.
A resident in Chengdu, 140 km (85 miles) from Ya’an city, told Xinhua he was on the 13th floor of a building when he felt the quake. The building shook for about 20 seconds and he saw tiles fall from nearby buildings.
Ya’an is a city of 1.5 million it is considered one of the birthplaces of Chinese tea culture and the home to one of China’s main centres for protecting the giant panda.
Numerous aftershocks jolted the area, the largest of which was magnitude 5.1.
The US Geological Survey initially put the magnitude at 7, but later revised it down.
The devastating 2008 quake was 7.9 magnitude.