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65 killed, 50,000 relocated after earthquake hit Tibetan county in Sichuan Province

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep06’22) – A total of 65 people have been killed in a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted Luding (Tibetan: Chagsam) County, which is now part of Chinese Sichuan Province, on Sep 5 afternoon, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency Sep 6.

Thirty-seven people were killed in Ganzi (Kardze) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and the other 28 died in Shimian County of the neighbouring, traditionally Chinese Ya’an City, the report said.

Besides, 12 people were reported to be missing while 170 were found injured in Ganzi, including 56 seriously injured, as of 7 am on Sep 6. Also, a total of 78 people were reported to be injured in Ya’an’s Shimian County as of 5:50 am on Sep 6.

The historic Moxi town, the epicenter, is 39 km away from the county seat of Luding and has several villages within the 5-km range around it, the report said.

Houses collapse in Luding county, Ganzi prefecture, Sichuan Province on Sept 5, 2022. (Photo courtesy: CFOTO/ZUMA PRESS)

There were many aftershocks and houses and infrastructure have been damaged to varying degrees, leading to over 50,000 people being evacuated to safer locations, reported the PTI news service Sep 6, citing a Sichuan provincial emergency management department media briefing in Chengdu.

Electricity and communications in Moxi town were reported to have been cut.

Han Chinese constituted nearly 85% of Luding’s population, with Tibetans making up just above 10%, according to China’s 2000 population census, the latest figures available on Wikipedia.

Sichuan, which sits on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau where tectonic plates meet, is regularly hit by earthquakes. Two quakes in June killed at least four people, Noted the AP Sep 5.

The province was earlier hit by an 8.2-magnitude earthquake in 2008 and it killed more than 69,000 people. The epicentre was the traditionally Tibetan county of Wenchuan (Lunggu) in Aba (Ngawa) Prefecture, populated almost entirely by that time by Chinese settlers. A 7-magnitude earthquake had also claimed 200 lives in the province in 2013.

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