A powerful earthquake of 6.8 magnitude jolted Luding County in China’s southwest Sichuan province on Monday, killing at least 46 people and injuring several others, AFP reported. This is the strongest earthquake to hit the Sichuan region since 2013 as tremors were also felt in the provincial capital of Chengdu and other provinces.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake sytuck around 43 kilometres southeast of the city of Kangding province in Sichuan. The quake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometres.
Landslides damaged some roads and homes near the epicentre. Communications were severed in several areas.
Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered all-out rescue efforts to minimise casualties, stressing that saving lives should be taken as the primary task.
“Heartfelt condolences to lives lost in the devastating earthquake in Sichuan on September 5 and prayers for the early recovery of the injured,” the Indian Embassy in China tweeted.
What Is The Epicentre?
The China Earthquake Networks Centre said the epicentre was at Luding. It is a town about 226 kilometres southwest of Chengdu.
Sichuan, a southwestern province in China, is an earthquake-prone region. Earthquakes commonly occur in Sichuan’s mountains in the west. This is a tectonically active region along the eastern boundary of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau.
How The Earthquake Has Affected People
According to the report, Laura Luo, an international PR consultant and a resident of Chengdu, was on her way back to her apartment block when she noticed people in her neighbourhood panicking and running out of their high-rise homes. The people had received earthquake warnings on their phones.
Quoting Luo, the report said there were many people who were so terrified they started crying.
She added that when the shaking started, all the dogs started barking and that it was really “quite scary”.
The earthquake was sp strong in Luding that it was hard for some people to remain standing, the report said, quoting state media China News Service. Due to the earthquake, cracks appeared on some houses.
People have also posted video clips of the earthquake on social media. Some videos show lights swinging while people rushed out of buildings into the streets.
According to state television, the approximate numbers of people living within 20 kilometres and 100 kilometres of the epicentre are 39,000 and 1.55 million, respectively.
Sichuan Earthquake Is The Strongest Quake To Hit The Region Since August 2017
In August 2017, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 hit Aba prefecture of northwestern Sichuan. The earthquake which hit Sichuan on September 5 is the region’s biggest since August 2017.
In May 2008, Sichuan was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 8.0. This is Sichuan’s most powerful earthquake on record. The earthquake was centred in Wenchuan, and killed almost 70,000 people and caused extensive damage.
Tremors Felt In Nearby Provinces
According to state media, tremors of the earthquake which hit Sichuan on Monday were also felt in the provinces of Yunnan, Shaanxi, and Guizhou. These provinces are located hundreds of kilometres away from Sichuan.
According to the report, Samantha Yang, a Chengdu resident, said she had during the earthquake, the building kept shaking, each time more severely than before. She called Monday’s earthquake the “scariest” one since the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
Telecommunication lines were cut off in some areas due to the earthquake. A number of towns in Sichuan province had sustained “serious damage to housing due to mountain landslides”, according to initial surveys, an AFP report said, citing state broadcaster CCTV.
According to the report, residents said that tremors were felt in Chengdu and the megacity Chongqing.
“Some of my neighbours on the ground floor said they felt it very clearly,” a Chengdu resident was quoted as saying in the report.
A resident of Chongqing called the earthquake “pretty noticeable”, and that it shook the lights and furniture in his fifth-floor apartment.
According to state broadcaster CGTN, more than 500 rescue personnel have been dispatched to the epicentre. Citing CGTN, the report said that “several aftershocks have been recorded in nearby areas”.
According to the USGS, a smaller earthquake of magnitude 4.6 hit eastern Tibet less than an hour after the initial earthquake.
On September 4, Chengdu extended its virus lockdown due to an increase in Covid-19 cases.
This year, a record-breaking heat noticeably dried rivers in Chongqing.