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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid