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June 19, 2019

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Rescuers rush to earthquake-stricken region

THIRTEEN people are known to have died and nearly 200 were injured as of yesterday after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Monday night.

The earthquake struck Changning County of Yibin at 10:55pm.

The epicenter, with a depth of 16km, was monitored at 28.34 degrees north latitude and 104.90 degrees east longitude, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The area was also hit by a series of at least four aftershocks, the largest of which had a magnitude of 5.1.

China Central Television showed footage of rescuers bringing a survivor out of the rubble of a building on a stretcher overnight.

Other images showed a woman being helped out of another collapsed structure.

Images from Changning County showed an electricity pole knocked down on the roof of a building, a hole in a brick home and broken windows on the street.

Mud and rock slipped from the side of a hill, blocking a road and wrapping around a truck.

Rescuers said nine people died in Changning and four more in neighboring Gongxian County.

Most of the deaths were caused by damaged houses, according to a press conference held by the city government of Yibin.

As of yesterday afternoon, nearly 200 people were injured. The quake affected more than 142,000 people and 8,447 were evacuated from quake-hit areas. It also toppled down 73 houses and severely damaged 19 others.

More than 4,000 people have been relocated.

The Ministry of Emergency Management has activated an emergency response and sent a working team to the stricken areas to provide guidance on rescue and disaster relief.

The ministry and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration have dispatched 5,000 tents, 10,000 folding beds and 20,000 quilts to the quake-hit areas.

The first team of nine medical experts has already set off for the quake-hit region while a second team stands by, according to the National Health Commission.

Team members are experts in critical care, orthopedics, psychology, epidemic control and sanitation from leading hospitals in Beijing and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Relief material on the way

Three national medical emergency teams have been on call while three local medical teams of about 50 members have reached the quake-hit region.

Relief materials from the Red Cross Society of China are on the way, including tents, quilts and coats, as well as several search and rescue teams.

China’s armed police forces were also dispatched for rescue work soon after the earthquake.

Nearly 800 armed police from Sichuan set off for the epicenter with professional equipment including life detectors and forcible entry tools.

More than 1,000 armed police forces from Sichuan Province were assigned as mobile forces for reinforcement.

Meanwhile, more than 1,800 militia members have been mobilized to offer emergency relief, including on-the-spot rescue, disaster detection, and duties of vigilance, in the quake-stricken areas.

As of yesterday, a total of 17 aftershocks measuring 3-magnitude or above have been recorded in the areas.

Showers and thunderstorms might occur over the next two days in Sichuan, China Meteorological Administration warned.

The affected areas will also see moderate to heavy rain from June 20 to June 22.

The quake caused a major highway connecting Yibin and Xuyong County of Sichuan’s Luzhou City to close.


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