Two earthquakes in China kill at least 89
At least 89 people have been killed and more than 500 hundred injured after a 6.6 Richter scale earthquake hit China’s north western province of Gansu on Monday morning.
The earthquake struck the border of the two counties of Minxian and Zhangxian at around 7.45 am local time, destroying nearly 2000 homes and reducing thousands of buildings to rubble.
The state run news agency, Xinhua, has reported that the epicentre fell between the two counties and the region experienced 422 aftershocks, including one with a magnitude greater than five.
Tremors were also felt in the provincial capital of Lanzhou, 400 km to the east.
It has been reported that more than 123,000 people have been affected by the quake and those killed are mostly children and the elderly from the rural Minxian county.
The Chinese president Xi Jinping, along with premier Li Keqiang, have expressed their concerns for the victims.
The provincial government has set aside five million yuan ($830,000) for a relief fund and has stressed on quick rescue work with heavy rains predicted for next week that could hamper rescue efforts and trigger secondary disasters such as landslides or building collapses.
Relief work is underway as the Gansu military police has deployed 500 soldiers, including 120 specialists. The Chinese Red Cross has shipped hundreds of jackets, tents, cotton quilts, folding beds, sleeping bags and sets of household items to the affected areas.
Much of western China is prone to earthquakes. According the US geological survey, Monday’s quake happened at a relatively active fault zone, which is near a fault line that was impacted by a 7 magnitude earthquake in April 2013 that hit Lushan county, killing 188 people.