175 killed as earthquake rocks China

More than180 people have been reported missing, while at least 1,300 were injured as the earthquake left homes and buildings in rubble.

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:13 pm IST

Published - August 03, 2014 05:48 pm IST - BEIJING

In this photo taken by cellphone and released by China's Xinhua News Agency, men at rubbles of buildings look for survivors after an earthquake in Ludian County of Zhaotong City in southwest China's Yunnan Province Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. A strong earthquake rattled southwest China on Sunday, knocking out communication and power lines and causing people to rush out of buildings, but there were no immediate reports of injuries. (AP Photo/Xinhua/Hu Chao) NO SALES

In this photo taken by cellphone and released by China's Xinhua News Agency, men at rubbles of buildings look for survivors after an earthquake in Ludian County of Zhaotong City in southwest China's Yunnan Province Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. A strong earthquake rattled southwest China on Sunday, knocking out communication and power lines and causing people to rush out of buildings, but there were no immediate reports of injuries. (AP Photo/Xinhua/Hu Chao) NO SALES

At least 150 people were reported killed and at least 180 others left missing after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern China’s Yunnan province on Sunday afternoon.

The earthquake, which struck at 4.30 p.m. on Sunday (2 p.m. IST), reduced much of the township of Longtoushan in Ludian county, where the epicentre was located, to rubble, according to photographs posted online.

More than180 people have been reported missing, while at least 1,300 were injured as the earthquake left homes and buildings in rubble.

Residents and rescuers faced a daunting task to search for survivors as night fell and authorities began confronting the challenge of dispatching rescue teams and heavy equipment to the remote and mountainous region.

Complicating rescue work, the road leading to the township was damaged in a landslide and traffic was yet to be resumed, Chen Guoyong, the head of Longtoushan, told State media. More than 300 police and 400 rescuers had, so far, been dispatched to the area.

Reports said extensive damage was reported in a number of towns in Ludian, which is home to a quarter of a million people in seven townships. The government said more than 12,000 houses were toppled and 30,000 damaged.

The remote region is among China’s poorest counties, located around 300 km from the provincial capital Kunming, in a northeast corner of Yunnan, a province which borders Myanmar.

The epicentre of the 6.5-quake was recorded at a depth of 12 km, the China Earthquakes Network Centre was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

The area was also struck by earthquakes in 2012, when more than 80 people were killed. In 1974, an earthquake that struck the region left more than 1,400 people killed.

A resident in the county said Sunday’s quake was “much much worse than what happened” in 2012, with towns resembling a “battlefield after bombardment”.

“What I can see are all ruins,” the resident told Xinhua .

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