At least 89 people were killed and more than 500 injured after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck China’s northwestern Gansu province on Monday morning.

The earthquake, which rocked the city of Dingxi and surrounding areas, left more than 1,200 homes in rubble, officials said, as the authorities put into effect an emergency rescue operation involving 3,000 armed police and firefighters.

The official Xinhua news agency reported from the rural Minxian county that those killed were mostly elderly and children. In the village of Yongguang, at least 12 residents were buried in a landslip.

Rescue slow

Rescue work was slow due to lack of heavy machinery, according to Xinhua. With rain forecast this week, officials fear recovery work could face further obstacles in coming days.

Most of the casualties were reported in Dingxi city, where 87 people were killed. The earthquake struck a region on the border of the two counties of Minxian and Zhangxian. At least 515 people were reported injured, of whom 60 were said to be in a serious condition.

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