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Four killed in Southwest China quake

06-26-2012 07:29 BJT

Rescue workers arrive with aid for the thousands who are displaced

At least four people were killed and 128 injured after an earthquake hit a mountainous area in Southwest China on Sunday, local authorities said on Monday.

Firefighters carry out relief work in the earthquake-hit Ninglang county of Lijiang, Yunnan province, on June 24. [Photo/Xinhua]

The magnitude-5.7 quake, which struck the border of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces at 3:59 pm, killed three people in Yunnan's Ninglang county and another person in Sichuan's Yanyuan county.

By Monday, more than 21,800 people had been displaced by the emergency amid fears of aftershocks and secondary disasters in the rainy season, according to the Yunnan Provincial Civil Affairs Department.

The epicenter was only 11 kilometers beneath ground. The magnitude was the largest registered in the provinces so far this year, according to the Sichuan Provincial Seismological Bureau. There were more than 50 aftershocks.

The Yongning township in Ninglang county of Lijiang, where many people of the Yi ethnic group live, was worst-hit, according to local authorities.

Li Yong, a tourist from Sichuan at Lugu Lake in Lijiang, said he felt the pier trembling and thought it was a bulldozer passing by.

"And dogs, cats and geese were making restless sounds the whole of Sunday night. We didn't sleep and then rushed downstairs this morning when two aftershocks occurred," Li said on Monday.

Seven tourists from Taiwan, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai were among the injured.

Local governments have directed resources to the rescue effort and the affected people.

A quake relief headquarters has been set up, and a team of 1,300 rescuers has been dispatched to the region, according to the Lijiang city government, which oversees Ninglang.

Yao Guohua, deputy director of Yunnan civil affairs department, told Xinhua News Agency that his department sent 2,000 tents, 3,000 quilts and 3,000 coats to Ninglang and would allocate more, if needed.

Authorities in Sichuan province dispatched 300 tents, 500 quilts and 500 cotton coats to the affected region.

Locals are helping as well. Nima Jiaze, from Sichuan, said he felt "proud when seeing locals show no fear facing the difficulties".

"What impressed me most was that the affected people did not cry over the disaster. Instead, they calmly gathered to help erect the tents or move things around," he said.

Administrators of the Lugu Lake scenic spot said they will "suspend services for tourists over the next two or three days" until the emergency alert ends.

Zhang Jun, a manager at the administration office, said his team will examine risks in and around the lake zone to avert accidents.

"The economic loss to us and to locals running accommodation services would amount to several million dollars a day," he said.

The earthquake also killed more than 1,200 domestic animals, Yunnan officials said.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: China Daily

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