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

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid