News / Asia

Southwest China Quake Kills Hundreds

  • A paramilitary policeman carries a baby in his arms after an earthquake hit Ludian county of Zhaotong, Yunnan province, China, Aug. 3, 2014.
  • A paramilitary policeman carries an elderly man on his back after an earthquake hit Ludian county of Zhaotong, Yunnan province.
  • People run past a hillside alley which is at risk of landslide after an earthquake hit Ludian county of Zhaotong, Yunnan province.
  • An injured child is carried by paramilitary policemen on a stretcher after an earthquake hit Longtoushan township of Ludian county, Yunnan province.
  • Paramilitary policemen carry an injured resident on a stretcher after an earthquake hit Ludian county of Zhaotong, Yunnan province.
  • Paramilitary policemen carry an injured woman with a stretcher after an earthquake hit Ludian county of Zhaotong, Yunnan province.
  • A general view shows collapsed houses after an earthquake hit Ludian county, Yunnan province.
  • People walk on debris after an earthquake hit Ludian county, Yunnan province.
VOA News

Chinese officials said an earthquake in a remote mountainous region of the country's southwest has killed at least 357people and collapsed thousands of buildings.

Officials said more than 1,400 people were injured in Sunday's quake. Many people are still missing.

The quake's epicenter was in Longtoushan in southwestern Yunnan province, at a depth of 12 kilomters, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Ludian County, a densely populated county with nearly 430,000 residents, is located about 366 kilometers (277 miles) northeast of Yunnan's capital, Kunming.

Xinhua said the tremor destroyed 12,000 homes and damaged another 30,000.

6.1-magnitude quake

The U.S. Geological Survey said Sunday's earthquake had a magnitude of 6.1. Chinese authorities said the magnitude was higher.

A second, 4.1-magnitude quake was registered just 2.5 hours later, 18 kilometers south of Zhaotong City, USGS said.

Ma Liya, a resident of Zhaotong, told Xinhua that the streets there were like a "battlefield after bombardment." She added that her neighbor's house, a new two-story building, had toppled, and said the quake was far worse than one that struck the area in 2012 and killed 81 people.

``The aftermath is much, much worse than what happened after the quake two years ago,'' Ma said. ``I have never felt such strong tremors before. What I can see are all ruins.''

Photos on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media site, showed rescuers searching through flattened buildings and people injured amid toppled bricks.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered "his condolences to the Chinese Government and the families of those killed," according to a statement from his office.

The statement said the U.N. is ready to "lend its assistance to efforts to respond to humanitarian needs" and "to mobilize any international support needed."

The United States has also expressed condolences and offered help.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those that lost their lives, those injured or displaced, and all the people of China on this difficult day," the White House said in a statement.

It said that American disaster response officials were in contact with their Chinese counterpart an that the U.S. stood ready to assist.

Aid sent to area

Xinhua said the government is sending thousands of tents, folding beds, quilts and coats to the affected area. The news agency added that electricity and telecommunications were cut off in the county.

State media announced that 2,500 troops had been dispatched to quake-hit areas late Sunday, joining a team of more than 300 police and firefighters from Zhaotong City, the capital of the prefecture.

News reports said rescuers were still trying to reach victims in more remote towns Sunday night.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the earthquake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years.  

Southwestern China is frequently struck by earthquakes.

In 1970, a magnitude-7.7 earthquake in Yunnan killed at least 15,000 people, and a magnitude-7.1 quake in the province killed more than 1,400 in 1974.

In May 2008, a powerful quake in Sichuan province left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing.

Heavy rain in the vicinity may pose challenges to rescuers, with more downpours forecast in the coming week, according to the China Meteorological Administration.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Frankie Fook-lunLeung from: Los Angeles
August 03, 2014 7:40 PM
Hope history does not repeat itself. This is not the repetition of the Sichuan earthquake.


by: James Thomas from: South Wales
August 03, 2014 3:50 PM
I find your commentary or newsletter quite clear and informative!! Keep up the good work. Regards James.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid