China natural disaster death toll rises to 20

Saul Bowman
August 11, 2017

Rescuers in China today intensified their search for residents missing in the 7.0-magnitude quake which struck a mountainous region in China's southwest Sichuan province, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 400.

The USGS recorded a second 6.3-magnitude quake near the Kazakhstan border in far northwestern China on Wednesday morning, local time, more than 1,300 miles from Jiuzhai Valley.

The death toll from the natural disaster that struck China's south-western Sichuan province rose to 20, with 431 injured, local authorities said on Thursday.

Six tourists are thought to be among the dead, with up to 45,000 people evacuated from the area.

The natural disaster came on the same day that state media reported heavy rains had killed at least 23 people in the province.

The Sichuan quake was centred near Jiuzhaigou, a picturesque valley region designated as a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site and which is famed for its striking scenery, karst rock formations, waterfalls and lakes.

The China Earthquake Networks Center measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.0 and said it struck at a depth of 20 kilometers (12 miles).

Rescuers dug through rubble with their hands and used detectors to search for signs of life.

The quake, which struck Jiuzhaigou County at 9:19 p.m. Tuesday, had a magnitude of 6.5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Xinhua says at least three villagers were injured when their home collapsed.

Shaking was felt in the provincial capital, Chengdu, and as far away as Xian, home of the famous terracotta warrior figures, according to the government. About 600 houses and livestock sheds were damaged in neighboring Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. The region had witnessed similar situations in 2008, when a massive quake resulted in killing of 70,000 people.

The dead included a woman in a theatre production about the 2008 Sichuan quake that killed 90,000 people.

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