China earthquake
China earthquake

It is worth noting that earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are some of the deadliest natural events to occur on the planet earth and it is also seen that they can cause an amount of irreversible damage that takes ages to be cured naturally and years for humans to rebuild. Talking about earthquakes, a deadly earthquake just hit the Northwest region of China just before midnight on 18th December killing more than a hundred people.

China’s state media reports that “The quake, China’s deadliest in nearly a decade, rocked Jishishan county in Gansu Province late Monday night, damaging houses and roads. Rescuers raced to search for survivors trapped under rubble, while residents rushed outdoors, huddling overnight in the bitter winter cold”. The report adds that “At least 118 people were killed and hundreds more injured after an earthquake hit northwest China”. It is also reported that “The quake struck just before midnight while many would have been sleeping in their homes. It measured 5.9-magnitude at the shallow depth just over 6 miles, according to the United States Geological Survey. The China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) gave a slightly higher reading of 6.2 magnitude”.

The epicenter is located close to the border between Gansu and Qinghai, a mountainous region on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. The quake was followed by nine aftershocks at magnitude 3 and above as of the morning, according to the CENC. CCTV reported that “The initial tremors lasted nearly 20 seconds and were felt in the provincial capital of Lanzhou 102 kilometers (63 miles) away”. Provincial officials have reported that “At least 4,000 firefighters, police officers and soldiers have been dispatched to the disaster zone in Gansu, along with thousands of tents, folding beds, quilts and portable fire pits”.

The problem with the rescue efforts is that the Northwest region is currently facing sub-zero temperatures due to the region being close to the Tibetian plateau which is known for its chilling Winters. Chinese President Xi Jinping urged authorities to “make all-out efforts” and China’s Finance Ministry and Emergency Management Ministry allocated 200 million yuan ($28 million) in natural disaster relief funds to the two provinces hit by the quake.

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