At Least 65 Dead in China After Earthquake amid Heat Wave, COVID Lockdown: Reports

·2 min read
At Least 65 Dead in China After Earthquake amid Heat Wave, COVID Lockdown: Reports

Dozens of people have been reported dead after a strong earthquake struck southwest China on Monday, per multiple reports.

Chinese broadcaster CCTV has reported that at least 65 people have died following Monday's disaster, according to CNN and the Associated Press.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the 6.6-magnitude quake struck just southwest of Sichuan's capital Chengdu around 1 p.m. local time. The epicenter was located about 27 miles southeast of the city Kangding.

CCTV said the earthquake also sparked landslides that left one town with "severe damage," according to The Guardian.

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Collapsed building after an earthquake in Luding county, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province, China, 05 September 2022 (issued 06 September 2022). A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Luding County, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan province, at 12:52 PM on 05 September, 2022.
Collapsed building after an earthquake in Luding county, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province, China, 05 September 2022 (issued 06 September 2022). A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Luding County, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan province, at 12:52 PM on 05 September, 2022.

STRINGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Building damage caused by the Sept. 5 earthquake in China's Sichuan Province

About 250 people were injured by the quake, including approximately 150 individuals in the city of Moxi, per the AP.

CCTV said an additional 16 people are missing, according to CNN and The Guardian.

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Rescuers search for the injured people after the earthquake in Luding county, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province, China, 06 September 2022. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit China's southwest Sichuan province on 05 September. According to state media, the death toll has risen to at least 65 people, with more than 10 people missing and 200 injured. The strongest earthquake in the region since 2017 triggered landslides and shook the provincial capital Chengdu, whose 21 million residents are already under a COVID-19 lockdown. Chinese rescue teams saved 15 people while still trying to evacuate 1000 villagers from the epicenter in Luding that got isolated by the landslide. Rescue operation after earthquake in China's Sichuan Province
Rescuers search for the injured people after the earthquake in Luding county, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province, China, 06 September 2022. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit China's southwest Sichuan province on 05 September. According to state media, the death toll has risen to at least 65 people, with more than 10 people missing and 200 injured. The strongest earthquake in the region since 2017 triggered landslides and shook the provincial capital Chengdu, whose 21 million residents are already under a COVID-19 lockdown. Chinese rescue teams saved 15 people while still trying to evacuate 1000 villagers from the epicenter in Luding that got isolated by the landslide. Rescue operation after earthquake in China's Sichuan Province

STRINGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Rescuers in China's Sichuan Province after the Sept. 5 earthquake

Aftershocks continued into Tuesday, impacting an estimated one million people, according to CNN.

The Sichuan seismological authority announced that over 1,000 soldiers had been summoned to assist in the rescue efforts, The Guardian reported.

CCTV said China's President Xi Jinping ordered local authorities to "make saving lives the first priority" and "minimize loss of life" in areas significantly impacted by the quake, per the outlet.

A man walks on the road after an earthquake in Luding county, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province, China, 05 September 2022
A man walks on the road after an earthquake in Luding county, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province, China, 05 September 2022

Photo by STRINGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Rocks strewn across a roadway after the Sept. 5 earthquake in China

Sichuan is susceptible to earthquakes due to the Longmenshan Fault, which borders the Sichuan Basin, according to a 2018 article published by the American Geophysical Union.

In June, Sichuan experienced two earthquakes that killed four people and injured dozens more, per The Guardian.

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Monday's quake hit as residents were on lockdown for COVID-19, per the reports. One Chengdu resident, identified by The Guardian as "Chen," said the lockdown left residents with limited options as they sought safety.

"Because Chengdu is under epidemic management, people aren't allowed to leave their residential compounds," Chen told the outlet, "so many of them rushed out into their courtyards."

This photo taken on September 5, 2022 shows rescue workers evacuating residents after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake in Luding county, Ganzi, in China's southwestern Sichuan province
This photo taken on September 5, 2022 shows rescue workers evacuating residents after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake in Luding county, Ganzi, in China's southwestern Sichuan province

STR/CNS/AFP via Getty Rescuers in China's Sichuan provide after the Sept. 5 earthquake

The region has also experienced its worst heat wave on record this summer, according to CNN and AFP. The disaster led to a massive drought, during which water was scarce and wildfires raged.

"These so-called extreme weather events will have more impact on our lives and electricity supply," Li Shuo, a climate adviser with Greenpeace in Beijing, told CNN. "And perhaps we all need to reconsider whether these extreme events will become the new normal."