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Twin earthquakes hit China, 75 killed

July 22, 2013 18:39 IST

Twin earthquakes hit China, 75 killed

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At least 75 people were killed and 412 others injured when two powerful earthquakes on Monday jolted a remote mountainous province in northwestern China near Tibet, causing extensive devastation and triggering landslides.

The quakes -- with magnitudes of 6.6 and 5.6 -- struck Minxian and Zhangxian counties in Gansu Province.

Over 400 aftershocks had been recorded in the quake-hit region, with the strongest measuring 5.6 in magnitude, said Chang Zhengguo, spokesman for the provincial government.

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Image: Paramilitary policemen search for victims amongst collapsed houses after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit Minxian county, Dingxi, Gansu province
Photographs: Reuters

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Twin earthquakes hit China, 75 killed

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The official Xinhua news agency reported that the death toll has climbed to 75.

According to latest figures, 73 people were killed in Dingxi City and two in its neighboring Longnan City, said the Dingxi municipal government.

An initial survey showed that the quake had caused the collapse of more than 1,200 houses and severe damage to 21,000 homes. Around 3,000 firefighters, armed police, soldiers and local government workers have been mobilised for the rescue.

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Image: An injured woman lies on a stretcher as she is pushed into a hospital
Photographs: Reuters

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Twin earthquakes hit China, 75 killed

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Aftershocks and minor landslides were seen in the mountainous region, posing dangers for rescuers arriving at quake-hit villages.

In the villages in the seriously-hit Meichuan Township, of Minxian County, many rural buildings had been reduced to ruins and others had cracks in the walls, Xinhua reported.

A total of 31 people have been confirmed dead in Meichuan, according to rescuers.

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Image: A woman points at her collapsed home
Photographs: Reuters

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Twin earthquakes hit China, 75 killed

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Zhu Wenqing, a 40-year-old farmer in Majiagou Village in Meichuan, said his house survived the first quake but eventually collapsed following seven or eight aftershocks.

Villagers said the victims were mainly the elderly and children, who failed to escape from collapsing houses.

President Xi Jinping has sought an all-out rescue effort.

This is the second major quake to have hit China since April this year. Over 200 people were killed when a 7.0-magnitude quake hit the southwest Sichuan Province.

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Image: Injured people receive treatment at a hospital
Photographs: Reuters

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Twin earthquakes hit China, 75 killed

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The strongest quake recorded around the fault zone was measured with a magnitude of 8.0 on July 21, 1654. That one happened nearly 121 km from the site of the latest quake.

Locals in Minxian County said the quake on Monday morning lasted for nearly one minute.

Sources with the county government said most of its townships have been affected by the quake.

Armed police, firefighters and more than 300 local militiamen have been dispatched to the quake-hit region to help with the rescue efforts.

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Image: Injured people receive treatment at a hospital
Photographs: Reuters

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Twin earthquakes hit China, 75 killed

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The Lanzhou Railway Bureau has initiated an emergency response to guarantee the safety of railway bridges and communication facilities in the province.

The earthquake was also felt in Tianshui City and Lanzhou as well as the cities of Xi'an, Baoji and Xianyang in neighbouring Shaanxi Province.

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Image: A man feeds water to an injured woman on a stretcher
Photographs: Reuters

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