Quake in China's Sichuan kills 19,
including tourists; injures 247
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[August 09, 2017]
By Christian Shepherd
JIUZHAIGOU, China (Reuters) - A
7.0-magnitude earthquake struck a remote, mountainous part of China's
southwestern province of Sichuan, killing 19 people, including eight
tourists, and injuring 247, the provincial government and official media
said on Wednesday.
The quake hit a sparsely populated area 200 km (120 miles) northwest of
the city of Guangyuan late on Tuesday at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), the
U.S. Geological Survey said. It was also close to the Jiuzhaigou nature
reserve, a tourist destination.
Sichuan is frequently struck by tremors. A huge quake there in May 2008
killed almost 70,000 people.
A separate quake of magnitude 6.6 hit a remote part of China's far
northwestern region of Xinjiang, more than 2,000 km (1,240 miles) away,
on Wednesday, the Chinese earthquake administration said. The People's
Daily said 32 people had been injured in the mostly rural area.
The Sichuan government said rescuers were gradually evacuating tourists
and residents who had been cut off by landslides.
It added that 19 people had been killed, but most of those injured were
not seriously hurt.
The dead included eight tourists, two residents and nine whose
identities have yet to be confirmed, state television said.
In nearby Longnan in the neighboring province of Gansu, also jolted by
the quake, eight people died in landslides caused by heavy rain, the
People's Daily said.
The Sichuan government added that 45,000 tourists had been evacuated
from the quake zone with just 1,000 more still waiting to leave.
A few dozen tourists were camped out at Jiuzhaigou airport, waiting for
flights. The airport was open and beginning to evacuate people by air,
state media said.
A traveler with a young daughter who gave his family name as Li said he
was in his hotel when the earthquake hit.
"The walls and floor shook. Some things fell off the table," he said.
Some people were injured in the hotel but most were fine.
"The rescue services showed up quickly and gave us water and things to
eat," Li said, adding that he received priority in evacuation since he
was accompanied by a small child.
"At first the road was blocked, but they had cleared a lane this morning
A French man and a Canadian woman suffered light injuries, Xinhua
All 341 Taiwan tourists in 19 tour groups were safe, the government of
the self-ruled island said, however.
[to top of second column]
Chinese paramilitary police search for survivors after an earthquake
in Jiuzhaigou county, Ngawa prefecture, Sichuan province, China
August 9, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
The Sichuan government dismissed as overblown earlier fears that
part of a hotel had collapsed, saying damage proved minor and
everyone was evacuated safely.
The Sichuan earthquake administration, which also assessed the quake
magnitude at 7.0, said its epicenter was in Ngawa prefecture,
populated chiefly by ethnic Tibetans, many of whom are nomadic
The area was rattled by aftershocks on Wednesday.
Pictures on state-run social media sites showed some damage in
Jiuzhaigou, with tiles having fallen off buildings and people
State television said electricity had largely been restored to
affected areas and the military was also sending rescuers.
The Sichuan government said on one of its official social media
sites that more than 38,000 tourists were now visiting Jiuzhaigou.
Shaking was felt in the provincial capital, Chengdu, and as far away
as Xian, home of the famous terracotta warrior figures, according to
The Xinjiang quake's epicenter was in Jinghe county, about 100 km
(60 miles) from the border with Kazakhstan, where about 140,000
people live, according to Xinhua.
Residents several hundred kilometers away in Urumqi, and the cities
of Karamay and Yining, felt strong tremors, Xinhua said. The jolt
lasted about 20 seconds, it said.
(This version of the story removes extraneous name in byline)
(Additional reporting by David Stanway in Shanghai, Michael Martina
in Beijing and Faith Hung in Taipei; Writing by Ben Blanchard;
Editing by Michael Perry and Clarence Fernandez)
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