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Saturday 30 September 2023 Dublin: 11°C
PA Some of the damage caused.
# Disaster
South-west China quake leaves 21 dead and triggers landslides
The quake triggered landslides and shook buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu.

AT LEAST 21 people were reported killed following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake that shook China’s south-western province of Sichuan today.

The incident triggered landslides and shook buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu, whose 21 million residents are already under a Covid-19 lockdown.

The temblor struck a mountainous area in Luding county shortly after noon, the China Earthquake Networks Centre said.

Sichuan, which sits on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau where tectonic plates meet, is regularly hit by earthquakes. Two quakes in June killed at least four people.

Along with the deaths, authorities reported stones and soil falling from mountainsides, causing damage to homes and power interruptions, state broadcaster CCTV said.

One landslide blocked a rural highway, leaving it strewn with rocks, the Ministry of Emergency Management said.

Buildings shook in Chengdu, 125 miles away from the epicentre. Resident Jiang Danli said she hid under a desk for five minutes in her 31st floor apartment. Many of her neighbours rushed downstairs, wary of aftershocks.

“There was a strong earthquake in June, but it wasn’t very scary. This time I was really scared, because I live on a high floor and the shaking made me dizzy,” she told The Associated Press.

The earthquake and lockdown follow a heatwave and drought that led to water shortages and power cuts due to Sichuan’s reliance on hydropower. That comes on top of the latest major lockdown under China’s strict “zero-Covid” policy.

The past two months in Chengdu “have been weird,” Ms Jiang said.

The US Geological Survey recorded a magnitude of 6.6 for today’s quake at a relatively shallow depth of six miles. Preliminary measurements by different agencies often differ slightly.

China’s deadliest earthquake in recent years was a 7.9 magnitude quake in 2008 that killed nearly 90,000 people in Sichuan. The temblor devastated towns, schools and rural communities outside Chengdu, leading to a years-long effort to rebuild with more resistant materials.

Author
Press Association
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