More than 30 killed after M6.8 quake hit SW China's Sichuan
A magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit Luding County in the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday at a depth of 16 kilometers, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).
The quake happened around 12:52 p.m. local time. Several aftershocks have been recorded in nearby areas.
As of 9 p.m. Beijing Time (1300 GMT), more than 30 people have been killed by the earthquake, according to a reporter from China Media Group (CMG). Another 30 people have been rescued from house debris.
Telecommunications are currently cut off in the epicenter, Moxi Town, while the power supply has been cut in Ganzi and nearby Ya'an City.
There have been 19 earthquakes with a magnitude higher than 6 around Luding since 1900. The most recent happened on June 1, 2022.
The Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) said it has dispatched a team led by Min Yiren, head of the China Earthquake Administration, to guide the disaster relief work in Luding.
Local disaster relief headquarters have adjusted the response level to the highest possible level.
Ganzi has dispatched a 635-person rescue force composed of armed police, firefighters, medical workers, communication professionals, power technicians, and transportation professionals to carry out rescue work. Hundreds more are doing the same in Ya'an.
Several "green passages" have been opened on the Sichuan highway to help rescue workers traveling to Luding. Officers from several departments are clearing roads blocked by quake-triggered landslides.
The local State Grid branch has restored the power supply for more than 11,900 people. Mobile carriers also set up temporary base stations and are trying to restore communication.
Experts from CENC told CMG that worse earthquakes are unlikely to take place in a short time around the area, based on their research on previous records and the nature of the disaster.