A devastating earthquake struck the border region of Gansu and Qinghai provinces in China on Monday, causing widespread damage and killing more than 100 people. The quake, which measured 6.4 on the Richter scale, also injured more than 600 people and displaced tens of thousands of residents.
The epicenter of the quake was located near the town of Minxian in Gansu province, about 200 kilometers from the provincial capital of Lanzhou. The quake occurred at a depth of 9.8 kilometers, making it a shallow earthquake that can cause more surface damage. The quake was followed by several aftershocks, some as strong as 5.6 magnitude.
The earthquake triggered landslides, collapsed buildings, damaged roads and bridges, and cut off power and communication lines in the affected areas. Many people were trapped under the rubble of their homes or workplaces, and rescue workers faced difficulties in reaching some remote villages. The local authorities have mobilized more than 10,000 soldiers, police officers, firefighters, and medical staff to join the relief efforts.
The Chinese government has declared a state of emergency and allocated 500 million yuan ($77 million) for disaster relief. President Xi Jinping expressed his condolences to the victims and urged all-out efforts to save lives and minimize losses. He also called for strengthening earthquake monitoring and prevention measures to reduce the risk of future disasters.
The earthquake was the deadliest to hit China since a 7.0 magnitude quake killed nearly 300 people in Sichuan province in April 2013. China is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, with frequent earthquakes occurring along its complex fault lines. The most catastrophic earthquake in China’s history was the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed an estimated 240,000 people.