19 killed, 247 injured in China’s quake-stricken region amid ongoing rescue operation

August 9, 2017 10:30 pm

Chinese paramilitary police recover a victim from a wrecked tour bus in Jiuzhaigou in ’s southwestern province of Sichuan on August 9, 2017, after a 6.5-magnitude struck the province late on August 8. (AFP photo)

The government of China has ordered the evacuation of thousands of people from a quake-stricken region as rescue teams continue to grapple with the aftermath of a powerful tremor that hit Jiuzhaigou, a national park in southwestern China that attracts many visitors from overseas.
Reports on Wednesday said 19 people had been killed and 247 injured in the earthquake that struck the area in Sichuan province late the previous day.
Most of the casualties occurred in Zhangzha, a township near Jiuzhaigou County. The local government of Aba prefecture, where the epicenter was located, said at least five of the dead were tourists and that 40 of those wounded in the quake were in critical condition.
The quake was measured at magnitude 6.5. The US Geological Survey designated it as a shallow, potentially destructive one with a striking depth of only nine kilometers.

Chinese paramilitary police carry relief supplies on their way to an earthquake-struck zone in Jiuzhaigou in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan on August 9, 2017. (AFP photo)

Thousands of people who camped outside hostels and guesthouses in Jiuzhaigou were evacuated to safety from the mountainous region. Among the evacuees were some 30,000 tourists who were relocated to safer accommodations, official Xinhua agency said.
President Xi Jinping called for a rapid response to the disaster, which is reminiscent of a massive quake in 2008 that killed 90,000 people in a nearby region.
China recorded another significant earthquake on Wednesday in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. Local media said 32 people were injured, two of them seriously, while some 1,000 houses were damaged in the 6.3-magnitude quake, which hit a sparsely populated region along China’s border with Kazakhstan.
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