5 dead, 54 injured in Southwest China quake

Updated: 2014-11-24 09:28


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5 dead, 54 injured in Southwest China quake

A bird's eye view of Tagong town in quake zone, Nov 23, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

Song Li, vice head of Tagong Township, said the township is still in huge need of warm tents.

The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, a spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, on Sunday morning prayed for the quake zone. He wished people there could soon walk out of the shadow of the quake and lives quickly return to normal.

Strong tremor

The strong earthquake was the latest to hit Sichuan, which neighbors Tibet Autonomous Region and has a history of earthquakes. A massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck Wenchuan on May 12, 2008, resulting in more than 80,000 people dead or missing. On April 20, 2013, a 7.0-magnitude quake hit Lushan, killing at least 196.

Kangding, in particular, lies on a geologically active belt. The county reported nine 7-magnitude-or-above quakes in 400 years.

Kungar Como, 20, and her grandmother were at home in Tagong when the earthquake struck.

"We felt a strong tremor, so I helped my grandmother outside. But she was hit by a collapsing wall," said Kungar. "People soon came to our aid and she was on her way to hospital about half an hour after the quake."

Powerful tremors were also felt in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, on Saturday, sending rattled residents out of the buildings.

The quake have caused blackouts, shut down two highways and affected railway traffic in the region for hours.

Two hours after the quake occurred, a 35-member rescue team from the police arrived at Tagong. Six military aircraft, 60 medical staff and nearly 1,000 soldiers and militia remain on standby.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs said at its website that it has allocated 1,000 tents, 2,000 quilts and 2,000 cotton-padded coats to the area. It has also dispersed 50 million yuan (8.16 million U.S. dollars) to disaster relief efforts.

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