Friday, April 19, 2024

Tragedy Strikes Northwest China as Earthquake Claims 116 Lives

A devastating earthquake in northwest China has claimed at least 116 lives, with rescue operations underway in freezing conditions. Gansu province bore the brunt of the disaster, reporting 105 casualties and almost 400 injuries, while the neighboring Qinghai province’s city of Haidong saw 11 fatalities and 100 injuries, according to local officials.

The powerful and shallow tremor struck around midnight, collapsing buildings and causing extensive damage, prompting people to flee into the streets for safety. The emotional impact was captured in a social media video where a woman described the fear she experienced during the quake.

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Rescue efforts, hampered by sub-zero temperatures, were launched immediately, with Chinese President Xi Jinping calling for “all-out efforts” in search and relief work. The high-altitude area faces the additional challenge of freezing conditions, prompting a warning about potential secondary disasters.

The earthquake, initially reported as magnitude 6.2 by Xinhua, struck near the Gansu-Qinghai border, with the epicenter approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Gansu’s capital, Lanzhou. A magnitude 5.9 was recorded by the US Geological Survey. Several aftershocks followed, and authorities cautioned that tremors exceeding 5.0 might occur in the coming days.

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The affected region experienced disruptions in power and water supplies, and footage showed residents gathering around fires while emergency services set up tents. Over 1,400 firefighters and rescue personnel, along with essential supplies, were deployed to the disaster zone.

As the rescue teams navigate challenging conditions, the tragedy has reignited concerns about China’s vulnerability to earthquakes. Recent history includes a 5.4-magnitude earthquake in eastern China in August, injuring 23 people, and a 6.6-magnitude quake in Sichuan province in September 2022, resulting in nearly 100 deaths. The haunting memory of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, a 7.9-magnitude event that claimed over 87,000 lives, still lingers, emphasizing the ongoing need for robust disaster response measures.

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Izaan Zubair
Izaan Zubair
With a passion and curiosity for technology, Izaan is a seasoned writer with four years of experience. His expertise lies in translating complex tech updates into engaging stories. Beyond technology, Izaan keeps a finger on the pulse of worldly news, crafting exclusive narratives that inform and inspire his readers.

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