Sunday Observer Online    


Sunday, 21 April 2013





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Hundreds dead or injured in China quake

20 April AFP

Hundreds of people were killed or injured when a strong earthquake struck China's southwestern Sichuan province Saturday, local officials said, five years after a massive quake devastated the region.

The shallow earthquake struck close to the city of Ya'an on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau just after 8:00 am (0000 GMT), setting off landslides, destroying buildings and triggering a major rescue operation.

Four hours after the quake struck, the death toll stood at 56, the Xinhua news agency said, quoting the provincial earthquake relief headquarters.

CCTV News had earlier reported 72 killed but revised that down to 47, with 600 injured, citing the Sichuan emergency authorities.

The quake sent panicked residents in cities hundreds of kilometres away fleeing into the streets, some of them still in their slippers and pyjamas.

Local seismologists registered the quake at magnitude 7.0 while the US Geological Survey gave it as 6.6 at a depth of 12 kilometres (seven miles). It was followed by several aftershocks.

“The earthquake in Ya'an, Lushan, has injured or killed hundreds of people,” the Sichuan earthquake bureau said.

Rescue workers heading for the quake zone were struggling to clear roads that had been blocked by debris, CCTV reported.

“There are mountains on all sides, it is very easy to trigger mudslides and very dangerous,” one user wrote on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

A Sina Weibo user posted a photo purportedly showing a badly damaged kindergarten in Lushan, its dark red stone slabs lying on the ground beside a row of trees. The authenticity of the photo could not be verified.

“Hang in there Ya'an!” the user wrote.

The tremors were felt as far as the megacity of Chongqing, home to around 30 million people, several hundred kilometres to the east, with Xinhua showing images of residents outside their apartment buildings after fleeing the shaking. Xinhua said 2,000 troops were being dispatched to the area, with two helicopters from the Chengdu Military Area Command sent to assess developments on the ground.

The military set up a quake relief and rescue headquarters and medical relief team for the quake-hit region.

Xinhua quoted a resident in the provincial capital Chengdu, who was on the 13th floor when the quake hit, as saying he felt the shaking for about 20 seconds and saw tiles fall off in nearby buildings.

City residents ran onto the street to get away from high rises, making phone calls and crying, a Sichuan government website reported.A few had even packed bags in case they needed to take shelter elsewhere.

In a photo published online by Xinhua, staff at a restaurant in Shifang city near the provincial capital Chengdu showed cracks that appeared in the wall after the quake struck.

In downtown Chongqing, Xinhua quoted a resident as saying: “I saw the lamps were swaying and water in my fishbowl stirring.” Weibo users said they felt the quake in a number of surrounding cities.

In 2008 the province saw one of the country's worst earthquakes in decades.

That quake, which struck west-northwest of Chengdu, generated an outpouring of support, with volunteers rushing to the scene to offer aid and then-premier Wen Jiabao also visiting.


Donate Now |
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)

| News | Editorial | Finance | Features | Political | Security | Sports | Spectrum | Montage | Impact | World | Obituaries | Junior | Youth |


Produced by Lake House Copyright 2013 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor