Rescue efforts underway after China quake kills 13
An earthquake in southwestern China left 13 people dead and 199 others injured, on Monday, 17 June 2019, authorities said. Hundreds of fire fighters arrived early on Tuesday and rescued at least eight trapped people, the Chinese Ministry of Emergency Management said. State broadcaster CCTV showed soldiers using a chainsaw to cut through a wooden door and rescue a couple under a fallen kitchen wall. More than 4 400 people have been evacuated after 73 houses collapsed, authorities said. Most of the deaths were caused by damage to houses, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
There were several aftershocks, the China Earthquake Administration said, while the US quake agency recorded one of magnitude 5,2 on Tuesday.
State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of rescuers bringing a survivor out of the rubble of a building on a stretcher overnight. Other images showed a woman being helped out of another collapsed structure. Images from Changning County showed an electricity pole knocked down on the roof of a building, a hole in a brick home and broken windows on the street. Cracks appeared in several highways and a major highway connecting Yibin and Xuyong County was closed, according to Xinhua news agency, which also reported that a hotel close to the epicentre collapsed but there was no immediate word of any casualties.
People rushed into the streets and cracks were left in some buildings by the quakes, pictures posted on the social media accounts of state media showed.
An early warning alarm system was triggered in the provincial capital Chengdu about one minute before the earthquake struck, Xinhua said. The alert rang 10 seconds before it hit Yibin. A three-second headstart before an earthquake strikes can prevent 14 percent of casualties, Xinhua said.
Nine people died in Changning County and three others in Qixian County, the Yibin city government said in its Twitter-like Weibo account, up from an initial death toll of six overnight.
Rescuers pulled six bodies and seven survivors from buildings, it said. Xinhua said more than 50 people were being treated in two hospitals.
More than 500 fire fighters have been dispatched to the scene. Rescue personnel were also sent with 5 000 tents, 10 000 folding cots and other emergency supplies, Xinhua reported.
Sichuan emergency management said direct economic losses exceeded 10 million yuan ($1,4 million).
CCTV reported that a hospital in Changning transferred all of its patients because of building damage.
Source: Straits Times