The death toll from a massive earthquake that struck southwest China has risen to 74, state media reported on Wednesday, as thousands of people were evacuated to temporary shelters and heavy rains threatened to trigger more landslides.
The 6.6-magnitude quake hit Monday about 43 kilometers (26 miles) southeast of the city of Kangding in Sichuan province at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey.
The state-run People’s Daily said 34 people died in Sichuan’s Ya’an city, while 40 deaths were reported in neighboring Ganzi prefecture.
More than 21,000 people have been evacuated from areas prone to landslides or building collapse, state broadcaster CCTV said.
Rescuers are still scouring remote villages in the mountainous southwest of the country in a race to find earthquake survivors, with dozens of people believed to be stranded or missing.
“My head was stuck between the two columns and my legs were sandwiched between the tables,” a woman who was trapped for nearly five hours under a collapsed hotel in the town of Moxi, one of the areas, told the State. most affected. launch Red Star News.
“I could only lie in one position, resigned to my fate. I don’t know who saved me,” she added, saying she was worried about her children and if their building school had collapsed.
“I could only wonder if the children were crying for their mother.”
Dramatic footage broadcast by state broadcaster CCTV showed kindergarten teachers waking up napping children and rushing them outside when the quake struck.
The quake also rocked buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu – where millions of people are confined to their homes under a strict Covid-19 lockdown – and in the neighboring megacity of Chongqing, residents told Reuters. AFP.
At least 13 aftershocks of magnitude 3.0 and above were detected as of 07:00 a.m. local time (2300 GMT) on Tuesday, the China Earthquake Networks Center said.
The provincial grid operator said yesterday that power had been restored to more than 22,000 homes and 12 emergency shelters in Ya’an were connected to a temporary power supply after the earthquake knocked out power. electricity in whole sections of the countryside.
The Beijing cabinet said on Monday it had dispatched a special team to lead the effort, with CCTV reporting that more than 6,500 people had been dispatched as part of the emergency relief operation.
But the China Meteorological Administration warned that disaster areas would experience “heavy rainfall” until Thursday and that landslides could hamper rescue operations.