Over 367 Dead In Southwest China Quake

CHINA 1A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck southwestern China on Sunday, killing at least 367 people and leaving 1,881 injured in a remote area of Yunnan province.

Thousands of buildings, including a school also collapsed as a result of the earthquake.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake registered at a shallow depth of less than 1 mile (1.6 km).

Chinese State Media, said it was felt most strongly in Yunnan as well as in the neighbouring provinces of Guizhou and Sichuan.

The official Xinhua News Agency, stated that the epicentre was in Longtoushan town in Yunnan’s mountainous Ludian county.

Communications have been seriously affected and rescuers are already at the scene.

Many people rushed out of buildings onto the street after the quake. Electricity supplies were cut and at least one school collapsed, Xinhua added, with more than 12,000 houses having collapsed and 30,000 sustaining damage.

The government promise to send 2,000 tents, 3,000 folding beds, 3,000 quilts and 3,000 coats to the disaster zone, where heavy rain forecast for the coming days will add to the misery and hamper rescue operations.

China Quake Death Toll More Than Doubles To 54, Hundreds Hurt

The death toll from a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in China’s western Gansu province on Monday more than doubled to 54 people, the municipal government said, with hundreds injured as many homes in affected areas collapsed.

The quake hit Minxian and Zhangxian counties, about 170 km (105 miles) southeast of the provincial capital of Lanzhou, at 7.45 on Monday morning (7.45 p.m. ET Sunday), the official Xinhua news agency said.

It put the number of people seriously injured at 296. Earlier reports by the official Xinhua news agency said 22 people had died.

Eight towns in the remote, mountainous area sustained serious damage in the quake and subsequent flooding and mudslides, state media said.

There were also power outages, while cell phone and Internet coverage was disrupted, residents and state media reported. The Red Cross Society of China said it had sent relief supplies to the affected areas, including jackets and tents.

“Many have been injured by collapsed houses,” said a Minxian county doctor surnamed Du. “Many villagers have gone to local hospitals along the roads.”

Photos posted on Chinese social media showed roads on the sides of riverbanks that had subsided and farmhouses reduced to piles of red bricks.

About 380 buildings had collapsed and 5,600 sustained damaged in Zhangxian county, the Dingxi municipal government said in a microblog post.

A school building in Minxian county was also damaged, a teacher in the area said, although he said he didn’t believe any students were injured because they were away on summer holidays.

Heavy rain is also forecast for the areas hit by the quake, which officials fear would compound the damage by causing more landslides and flooding.

A second 5.6 earthquake struck the same region about 90 minutes after the first, Xinhua said, the most significant of several aftershocks. The United States Geological Survey said the first quake had a magnitude of 5.9.

Gansu abuts Sichuan province, where a 6.6 quake in April killed 164 people and injured more than 6,700, China’s worst quake in three years.

That quake hit close to where a devastating 7.9 temblor killed some 70,000 people in May 2008.

Among those killed in the 2008 quake were thousands of children, raising suspicions that the schools that had collapsed on them had been poorly constructed, in part due to corruption.

Strong Quake Hits China; 156 Dead, Over 5,500 Injured

A strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit a remote, mostly rural and mountainous area of southwestern China’s Sichuan province on Saturday, killing at least 156 people and injuring about 5,500 close to where a big quake killed almost 70,000 people in 2008.

The earthquake, China’s worst in three years, occurred at 8.02 a.m. (0002 GMT) in Lushan county near Ya’an city and the epicenter had a depth of 12 km (7.5 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake was felt by residents in neighboring 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.

State media said 156 people had been confirmed dead with more than 5,500 injured.

President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang said all efforts must be put into rescuing victims to limit the death toll.

After arriving at the disaster zone by helicopter, Li directed earthquake relief efforts from a plaza in Longmen township in Lushan, Xinhua said.

Li asked that a road be opened to Baoxing county, one of the most affected by the earthquake, and that rescuers “act quickly” in their efforts, Xinhua quoted Li as saying.

“The current most urgent issue is grasping the first 24 hours since the quake’s occurrence, the golden time for saving lives,” Xinhua news agency quoted Li as saying earlier.

Xinhua said 6,000 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.

Most of the deaths were concentrated in Lushan, where water and electricity were cut off. Pictures on Chinese news sites showed toppled buildings and people in bloodied bandages being treated in tents outside the hospital, which appeared only lightly damaged.

Rescuers in Lushan had pulled 32 survivors out of rubble, Xinhua said. In villages closest to the epicenter, almost all low rise houses and buildings had collapsed, according to footage broadcast on state television.

“We are very busy right now, there are about eight or nine injured people, the doctors are handling the cases,” said a doctor at a Ya’an hospital who gave her family name as Liu.

The hospital was seeing head and leg injuries, she added.

“SHAKES AND TREMORS”

The China Meteorological Association warned of a possibility of landslides occurring in Lushan county on Saturday and Sunday, the agency said in a statement on its website.

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 people and is considered one of the birthplaces of Chinese tea culture. It is also the home to one of China’s main centers for protecting the giant panda.

“There are still shakes and tremors and our area is safe. The pandas are safe,” said a spokesman with Ya’an’s Bifengxia nature park, a tourism park that houses more than 100 pandas.

Shouts and screams were heard in the background while Reuters was on the telephone with the spokesman.

“There was just an aftershock, an aftershock, our office is safe,” he said.

Numerous aftershocks jolted the area, the largest of which was magnitude 5.1.

Sichuan is one of the four major natural-gas-producing provinces in China, and its output accounts for about 14 percent of the nation’s total.

Sinopec Group, Asia’s largest oil refiner, said its huge Puguang gas field was unaffected.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially put the magnitude at 7, but later revised it down.

The devastating May 2008 quake was 7.9 magnitude.

Earthquake kills at least four in Northern Italy

The northern Italy region of Bologna witnessed a Sunday morning earthquake which passed as one of the strongest to shake Italy with a rattling magnitude of 6.0 which killed at least four people, toppled buildings and sent residents running into the streets according to news reports.

Seismologists say the quake which started at 4:04 a.m. Sunday between Modena and Mantova, about 35 kilometres north-northwest of Bologna at a relatively shallow depth of 5 kilometresis one of the strongest quakes to shake the region and initial television footage indicated that older buildings had suffered damage.

Church towers showed cracks and the bricks of some stone walls tumbled into the street. As dawn broke over the region, residents milled about the streets inspecting the damage.

Three people were killed in Sant’Agostino di Ferrara when a ceramics factory collapsed. Another person was killed in Ponte Rodoni do Bondeno.

Images of the collapsed ceramics factory where the two workers were reportedly killed; the structure, which appeared to be a hangar of sorts, had twisted metal supports jutting out at odd angles amid the mangled collapsed roof were shown on television.

Two other people died of apparent heart attacks in the wake of the quake.

Many people were still awake at 4 a.m. and milling about town since it was a “White Night,” with stores and restaurants open all night. Museums were supposed to have remained open as well but closed following the bombing Saturday of a school in southern Italy that killed one person.

The epicentre was between the towns of Finale Emilia, San Felice sul Panaro and Sermide but was felt as far away as Tuscany and northern Alto Adige.

The initial quake was followed about an hour later by a 5.1-magnitude temblor, USGS said. And it was preceded by a 4.1-temblor.

In late January, a 5.4-magnitude quake shook northern Italy. Some office buildings in Milan were evacuated as a precaution and there were scattered reports of falling masonry and cracks in buildings.

In 2009, a devastating temblor killed more than 300 people in the central city of L’Aquila.

 

 

Earthquake hits Japan’s northeastern coast

Japan has issued a tsunami warning on Wednesday after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck off its northeastern coast.

The meteorological agency gave the tsunami warning after the tremor hit some 210 kilometres (130 miles) off the northern island of Hokkaido. However, US monitors insist that there’s no Pacific-wide tsunami threat.

“No destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data,” the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, but it warned that such earthquakes can generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of the earthquake epicenter.