China

Rescue teams in China's quake-hit Gansu

  • 23 July 2013
  • From the section China

Rescue efforts are under way following two powerful earthquakes in China that killed at least 94 people.

The quakes hit Gansu province on Monday morning, with the majority of casualties in Dingxi city. More than 800 are injured, state media report.

Two helicopters and around 3,000 soldiers, police and rescue personnel have been deployed, reports say.

Thousands of buildings collapsed or were damaged in the magnitude 5.98 and 5.6 quakes.

More than 9,000 houses collapsed, the Dingxi municipal government said on its verified microblog account.

Rescuers were digging through rubble to look for victims buried by landslides and mudslides triggered by the quake.

As much of the mud is made of loess, a fine yellow sandy silt, the chance of finding survivors under the landslides is considered slim, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

By 18:00 (10:00 GMT) on Monday, the region had experienced 422 aftershocks, including one with a magnitude greater than five, Xinhua reported.

Li Jingui, a student in Dingxi, told AP news agency about the moment she felt the quake: "I saw the bulb hanging from the ceiling start swinging wildly around. I woke my two friends and we ran into the bathroom to hide."

"After the strongest tremors were over, we were worried that there would be aftershocks so we packed our stuff and ran out into a large clearing," Li Jingui added.

"I know I had a lucky escape," survivor Yang Su Xiao, 18, told Agence-France Presse news agency. "I am glad we are all not injured, but we don't know how we are going to repair the damage."

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