China: Series Of Earthquakes Strike South-Western China, Thousands Of Homes Destroyed, Dozens Killed
Associated Press – “BEIJING — Twin earthquakes and a spate of aftershocks struck southwestern China on Friday, toppling thousands of houses and sending boulders cascading across roads. At least 64 people were killed and hundreds injured in the remote mountainous area, and more than 100,000 residents were evacuated.
Damage was preventing rescuers from reaching outlying towns, and communications were disrupted after the midday quakes hit along the borders of Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, a rural region where some of China’s poorest people live.
The first 5.6-magnitude quake struck just before 11:30 a.m. and was followed by an equally strong quake shortly after noon, joined by dozens of aftershocks. Though of moderate strength, the quakes were shallow, which often causes more damage.
Hardest hit was Yiliang County, where all but one of the deaths occurred, according to the Yunnan provincial government’s official website. Another 715 people in the area were injured. Yiliang’s high population density, shoddy building construction and propensity for landslides were blamed for the relatively high death toll.
China Central Television showed roads littered with rocks and boulders and pillars of dust rising over hilltops from the landslides. One image taken just as one quake struck showed people running out of a supermarket as the ground shook.
Other footage showed several hundred people crowding into a school athletic field in Yiliang’s county seat, a sizable city spread along a river in a valley, as well as soldiers carrying injured people and rescue materials.” Read more.