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Death toll in China earthquake climbs to 131 as rescuers battle cold waves

Death toll in China earthquake climbs to 131 as rescuers battle cold waves

 
- Authorities shift more than 4,000 people to safe places, over 780 injured
 

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD (AA) - Rescue and relief efforts continued in earthquake-hit northwestern provinces of China as the death toll climbed to 131, state-run media reported on Wednesday.

The 6.2 magnitude quake hit China at around 11.59 p.m. local time (1559GMT) on Monday with the epicenter being a township in Jishishan autonomous county in Gansu province, some 63 miles (101 kilometers) from the provincial capital Lanzhou.

The earthquake hit the densely populated areas when people were sleeping.

As many as 113 people died in Gansu, while 18 others were reported dead in Qinghai province, according to the Xinhua news agency.

So far, 74 people had been rescued as of Tuesday evening while more than 4,000 were evacuated.

Over 780 people also got injured by the deadly earthquake as some of them are in critical condition in hospitals.

This is the deadliest earthquake to have hit China since 2014 when a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Ludian county in southwestern Yunnan province, killing at least 617 people while 112 others were reported missing.


Witnesses said many houses, roads and infrastructure in the region were damaged and there were electricity and water outages in many villages.

Local authorities said that traffic has been resumed on all highways connecting areas severely affected by the earthquake.

Hundreds of rescuers are battling repeated aftershocks and a cold wave to rescue survivors as the temperatures dropped below 10 degrees Celsius (14 F), according to the news agency.

Relief workers also continued their efforts to provide relief supplies including coats, folding beds, tents, stoves and food items to the affected people.

China is operating its remote sensing satellite and unmanned vehicles during the rescue and relief operations in the affected regions.

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