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Thursday, April 25, 2024

7.1-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Xinjiang, Injuring 6; Yunnan Landslide Death Toll Rises to 11

Chinese state media reports confirm that a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck China’s western Xinjiang region, causing injuries and significant damage. Here’s what we know about the incident.

Xinjiang Earthquake Impact

The earthquake epicenter was identified in Uchturpan county, Aksu prefecture, striking shortly after 2:00 am (local time). The China Earthquake Networks Center reported six injuries, including two serious cases, with 47 houses collapsed and 78 damaged. The local government also noted the collapse of agricultural structures and downed power lines, though electricity was promptly restored. Multiple aftershocks, including a 5.3-magnitude tremor, were recorded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). This seismic event is considered one of the largest in the region in the past century, with the last comparable quake occurring in 1978.

Regional Impact and Responses

The earthquake’s effects were felt hundreds of kilometers away, reaching as far as New Delhi, India, and neighboring Pakistan. Train services were temporarily suspended, affecting 23 trains, but resumed after safety checks. Residents, like Ma Shengyi from Tacheng, shared their experiences, highlighting the quake’s intensity.

Yunnan Landslide and Rescue Efforts

While Xinjiang grapples with the aftermath of the earthquake, another natural disaster unfolded in China’s southwestern Yunnan province.

Yunnan Landslide Details

A landslide struck Yunnan province, burying at least 18 homes and leading to the tragic death toll of 11. State-owned China Central Television (CCTV) reported 47 people missing from 18 households. The landslide occurred pre-dawn, triggering evacuations and prompting a significant search and rescue operation.

Rescue Efforts and Challenges

Rescue workers faced harsh conditions, battling freezing temperatures and thick snow in their efforts to locate survivors. The disaster prompted the deployment of 200 rescue workers, numerous fire engines, and specialized equipment. Despite the challenging environment, the rescue teams persistently worked through the night, utilizing various tools to uncover any survivors.

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