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China: 3 killed, 60 injured as earthquake hits Sichuan province; emergency response launched

Updated on: 16 September,2021 12:00 AM IST  |  Beijing

The earthquake measuring 6.0-magnitude struck in Luxian county at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre

China: 3 killed, 60 injured as earthquake hits Sichuan province; emergency response launched

Workers look through debris in the aftermath of an earthquake in Luxian county in southwestern China's Sichuan province. Pic AP/PTI

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted China's southwestern Sichuan province early on Thursday morning, killing at least three persons and injuring 60 others. Sichuan's earthquake relief headquarters activated a level-II response, the second-highest in China's four-tier earthquake emergency response system.

The earthquake measuring 6.0-magnitude struck at 4:33 AM (local time) in Luxian county at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre. Three persons were killed and 60 others injured in the quake, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The injured people were rushed to nearby hospitals where the condition of three of them is stated to be critical. More than 6,900 affected residents have been relocated and over 10,000 people shifted to temporary shelters as of early Thursday morning after the quake, the local government said.

Over 730 houses have collapsed while 7,290 were damaged due to the intensity of the quake, the report said. The earthquake administration has dispatched a team to guide on-site disaster relief work. A total of 890 commanders and fighters from nearby fire-fighting and rescue brigades have been mobilised, while another 4,600 rescue workers are on standby.

The Xinhua report said that collapsed walls and houses were seen on the way to rain-battered Jiaming township in the epicenter area. Electricity in most of the houses in the town has been suspended. Shelves of shops that fell off in the tremors lay scattered along the street. Residents were seen cleaning up the cluttered scene. Amidst heavy rain in Fuji township, rescue workers were going door to door searching for people in the damaged houses and moving them to temporary shelters where workers distributed mooncakes and other food items.

Lai Jianrong, a Fuji local, told reporters that she experienced a mild tremor around 4 AM and ran out barefoot in her nightgown when the tremors became intense. "Some bricks fell off the wall and I didn't dare to go in again," she said after she was moved to the temporary shelter. Some telecommunication base stations and cables were damaged. The Luzhou high-speed railway station has been closed, according to railway authorities.

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All coal mines have been ordered to halt underground operations and evacuate miners in shafts. Zhang Zhiwei, deputy head of the Sichuan earthquake administration, said the quake, unlike the devastating Wenchuan Earthquake and Lushan Earthquake in the province in 2008, happened in the fracture zone of Huaying Mountain. An expert analysis concluded that a more serious earthquake is unlikely in the area, but aftershocks may occur. Thousands were killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

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