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Gansu-Qinghai earthquake death toll rises to 131, including to 18 in Qinghai

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(TibetanReview.net, Dec20’23) – The death toll in the powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake which hit Gansu province and affected neighbouring Qinghai province at 11:59 pm on Dec 18 night has risen to 131, including to 18 in Qinghai.

As of 5:30 am, the disaster has injured 198 people in Qinghai, with 16 others still missing, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Dec 20.

So far there are no reports of deaths, injuries, destructions and evacuations in specific villages and towns.

The epicentre was the Liugou Township, located about 8 km from the county seat of the Bonan-Dongxiang-Salar Autonomous County of Jishishan in Gansu Province. It is located just 5 km away from the boundary between the two provinces. There are 22 townships in Qinghai within 50 km of the epicentre, Xinhua said Dec 19.

Over 700 people were injured in both provinces, PTI news Dec 20 cited local authorities as saying.

The maximum damage occurred at the earthquake’s epicentre in Gansu’s Jishishan county and in the city of Haidong in neighbouring Qinghai, said China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Dec 20.

The earthquake resulted in a large number of casualties because the areas near the epicentre are densely populated and the seismic intensity of the quake was high, said another chinadaily.com.cn report Dec 20, citing experts.

Chen Yiran, chief engineer at the Sichuan Zhongke Institute of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, has said that based on information he had, there are 10 villages located within 5 km of the epicentre and 10 towns within 20 km.

The Dec 18 night quake was the deadliest to hit the People’s Republic of China since the 2014 earthquake in Yunnan province which killed 617 people, the report noted.

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