Gansu Earthquake: Over 120 Killed In China’s Deadliest Quake In 13 Years

At least 126 people have been killed in north-west China in the country’s deadliest earthquake in 13 years.

The 6.2 magnitude quake hit mountainous Gansu province around midnight on Monday (16:00 GMT), also shaking neighbouring Qinghai.

Fatalities may rise with over 700 reported injured in icy conditions.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered thousands of rescue crew to the region, among the poorest and most diverse in China.

On Tuesday, footage shown on state TV and social media networks showed entire villages split by the quake, as well as collapsed buildings and houses.

Residents who fled their homes were also shown huddling over makeshift fires at hastily erected evacuation camps. Temperatures hit -13C (8.7F) on Tuesday, Chinese media reported.

Survivors said the tremors had felt like “being tossed by surging waves”, and recalled rushing out of their apartments.

“I woke my family up and we rushed down all 16 floors in one breath,” said one man named Mr Qin by Chinese outlets.

Local officials in Jishishan county, the worst hit in Gansu province, said more than 5,000 buildings in the area had been damaged.

Chinese media quoted a director of the Gansu rescue team, who attributed the widescale damage to poor building quality in the villages – many homes being old and made of clay.

Gansu lies between the Tibetan and Loess plateaus and borders Mongolia. The remote region is one of China’s poorest and most ethnically diverse.

The epicentre of the quake was in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, home to many Chinese Muslim groups, including the Hui, Bonan, Dongxiang and Salar people.

Chinese authorities said the quake measured 6.2 on the Richter scale, while the US Geological Survey (USGS) recorded a magnitude of 5.9 and depth of 10km (6 miles). About 10 aftershocks have taken place, local authorities reported.

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