Two Chinese provinces hit by earthquakes, with three reported dead
A series of earthquakes and aftershocks have rattled south-west and north-west China, leaving at least three people dead and 33 injured. Both Yunnan province in south-western China and Qinghai province in the north-west on the Tibetan plateau are prone to earthquakes. The Yunnan quake, which had a magnitude of 6,4, struck first at 21h48 on Friday, 21 May 2021, near the city of Dali, a popular tourist destination, the China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC) said. It was followed by at least two aftershocks.
At least three people died and 28 were injured in the Yunnan quake, state media People’s Daily reported. Chinese media also said that at least 192 houses collapsed and more than 20 000 people had to be evacuated from the mountainous areas.
Then a few hours later, at 18h04 GMT, more than 1 200km away, a 7,4-magnitude quake jolted China’s sparsely populated Qinghai province in the north-west, followed by an aftershock.
According to state media, at least two bridges collapsed and two sections of highway were destroyed following the quake.
The epicentre was in Maduo County. Chinese media said at least five local residents had minor injuries, with one suffering from a minor concussion after falling out of bed and the other fracturing an ankle while seeking shelter.
US geophysicists said the two quakes were not related.
China is regularly hit by earthquakes, especially in its mountainous western and south-western regions. A powerful 7,9-magnitude quake in Sichuan province in the south-west in 2008 left 87 000 people dead or missing.
In February 2003, a powerful 6,8-magnitude quake killed 268 in Xinjiang and caused significant damage. In 2010, a 6,9-magnitude quake in Qinghai left 3 000 people dead or missing, and in October 2014, hundreds of people were injured and more than 100 000 displaced after a 6,0-magnitude tremor hit Yunnan, close to China’s borders with Myanmar and Laos.
Sources: The Guardian, Euro News