By Tenzin Dharpo
Rescue workers look for people in Yibin city after two quakes struck the area. Photo-Reuters.
DHARAMSHALA, June 19: Two powerful earthquakes struck Yibin city in the Sichuan Province’s Changning county late Monday night killing at least 12 people and injuring over a hundred people while a second quake struck on Tuesday, local authorities said.
The first quake of 6.0-magnitude struck at 10:55 PM local time on Monday with its epicentre recorded at the depth of 16 kms. The second tremor of 5.3-magnitude hit the area on Tuesday, China Earthquake Centre (CEC) said.
China’s Ministry of Emergency Management said 12 people died and another 125 were injured and that deaths were caused by damaged houses and structures. Officials said that early warning systems sounded alarms a minute before the quake struck.
Chinese state media reported that the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration dispatched 5,000 tents, 10,000 folding beds and 20,000 quilts to the quake-hit areas and 63 fire trucks and about 302 fire fighters from Sichuan province have been rushed to the scene for rescue operations.
The quake-hit area is around 300 km from the provincial capital Chengdu and about 240 km from Chongqing, and is outside occupied Tibet.
In 2010, occupied Tibet’s Yushu County (Kyegudo in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham) in the Yushu prefecture was struck by a 7.1-magnitute earth quake. The death toll in the massive earthquake that hit Qinghai province was reported to be upwards of 2,700 confirmed dead, 12,135 injured and 270 missing, marking it as one of the deadliest earth quake in the history of the region.