Three dead, dozens hurt in Sichuan quake

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 17 Sep 2021

Three people were killed and dozens injured when a shallow earthquake struck southwestern China yesterday, triggering the second-highest level of emergency response by rescuers in Sichuan province.

The quake struck Luxian county, 120 kilometers southwest of Chongqing, which along with its surrounding area is home to 30 million people.

Rescue workers rushed to lift people from beneath the rubble, moving them out of damaged buildings on stretchers, footage from the Sichuan Fire Brigade showed.

More than 1,000 houses in Luxian were reduced to rubble and nearly 30,000 others were damaged, Sichuan authorities said.

Local media published images of collapsed ceilings in a hospital as residents milled around in the streets after warnings not to return indoors.

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the quake at 5.4 but the China Earthquake Networks Center measured it at magnitude 6.0. Both put it at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers.

At least 10,000 people have been moved into emergency shelters, the county government said.

Footage from Luxian by state broadcaster CCTV showed workers climbing up ladders in pouring rain to remove hazardous debris hanging off buildings. Students were moved out of their dormitories in the dark while clutching umbrellas and wearing backpacks, in another video from the Sichuan Daily.

Authorities played down the immediate threat of a larger aftershock. Multiple electricity lines were disrupted and 62,000 households were hit by power cuts after the earthquake.

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