Map: 5.9-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Northwestern China
View the location of the quake’s epicenter and shake area.
An earthquake in northwestern China has killed at least 111 people and injured more than 200 others in two provinces, Chinese state media reported on Tuesday.
Rescuers were searching for survivors after the quake, which jolted Jishishan County in Gansu Province late on Monday night. The province reported that 100 people had died, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
Eleven people in the city of Haidong in neighboring Qinghai Province were also killed, the news agency said.
The quake, which struck at 11:59 p.m., had a magnitude of 5.9, according to the United States Geological Survey, though it was measured at 6.2 by the China Earthquake Administration. Buildings were toppled, and rescuers were working hours later to dig people out of the rubble, according to CCTV, the state broadcaster.
The quake also knocked out water, electricity and transportation links in some parts of Gansu, which, like much of the country, is enduring a cold snap. The temperature in Jishishan several hours after the quake was -14 degrees Celsius, or about 7 degrees Fahrenheit, according to state media.
Residents described waking up to collapsing ceilings, and they huddled outside in thick blankets, according to photos and accounts in state media. On social media, people who said they were at the quake site said they had started bonfires in their yards or set fire to cardboard boxes to keep warm.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, deployed a working group to the site to oversee rescue operations, CCTV said. China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, noted that the disaster had happened in a “high-altitude area with cold weather” and ordered workers to repair infrastructure as quickly as possible. Rescue workers also rushed to deliver tents, cots, blankets, mattresses and coats.
Joy Dong contributed reporting from Hong Kong.