20 April 2013, 12:12

Russia offers to help China in dealing with aftermath of the earthquake

Russia offered on Saturday to help China in dealing with the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that reportedly killed at least 70 and injured hundreds of people.

President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Saturday over the deadly disaster and assured that Russia is ready to “provide assistance” with the aftermath of the quake, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The quake - measured by China's seismological bureau at magnitude 7.0 and the US Geological Survey at 6.6 – hit China's Sichuan province Saturday leaving some 600 injured. According to the official Xinhua News Agency at least 70 people died, but the death toll is expected to rise.

Over 2,000 soldiers rushed to the quake-hit area for rescue and relief work, Xinhua news agency quoted military sources as saying. The area is reportedly cut off the power and water supplies.

The area lies near the same location in China where the devastating quake struck in 2008, leaving more than 90,000 people dead or missing.

China quake death toll grows to 71

A strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit a remote, mostly rural and mountainous area of southwestern China's Sichuan province on Saturday, killing at least 71 people and injuring about 2,200 close to where a big quake killed almost 70,000 people in 2008.

Some 2,200 people have been injured in the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which struck at 8.02 a.m. local time on Saturday, or 4.02 a.m. Moscow time, in Sichuan Province, in the southwest of China.

The quake focus was at a depth of 16.4 kilometres, while its epicentre, in the Lushang District, 100 kilometres away from the city of Chengdu.

More than 2,000 Army servicemen and experts have been sent to the disaster area to evacuate locals in a move that’s impeded by the disrupted road traffic.

The authorities do not rule out landslides.

Earthquake struck China: at least 56 dead, more than 600 injured

A 6.6 earthquake struck south-western China, claiming 56 lives and injuring more than 600 people, according to state media reports.

The disaster has struck the country's south-western Sichuan province at 00:02 AM GMT (8:02 AM local time) on Saturday, at a depth of around 13 kilometers (7,6 miles), according to China's Xinhuan news agency.

Xinhua is also reporting that 2,000 troops have been dispatched to assist in clearing the area and helping rescue efforts. China's state-owned CCTV channel said that currently only emergency vehicles are allowed access into Yan'an, athough Chengdu airport is once again functional.

There are also reports of light rain hitting Ya'an, which raises the danger of landslides.

Residents in neighboring provinces have also pointed out quite strong indicators that a quake was happening. People in the provincial capital of Chengdu were leaving their homes in fear - a report from China's Sina Weibo microblog states. Chengdu is 140 kilometers (85 miles) away from the epicenter of the earthquake.

The area trembled with a multitude of aftershocks, the strongest of which hit a magnitude of 5.1, in Lushan and Boaxing counties at 8:07 AM. The US Geological Service initially gave a figure of 7, but later corrected the data.

A Chengdu resident said he could feel the earthquake all the way up on the 13th floor of his apartment building, which he claims shook for about 20 seconds, as tiles were seen falling off the neighboring buildings.

Ya'an is a city with a rich history, considered to be one of the origins of China's tea culture, as well as housing one of China's main centers for protecting its Giant Panda population.

Magnitude 6.9 quake hits Sichuan region, China

A magnitude 6.9 quake struck the western Chinese region of Sichuan Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The earthquake, initially reported as a magnitude 7.0 tremor, was centered 111 km northwest of the town of Leshan, at a depth of only 16.4 km below the surface.

Voice of Russia, Reuters, RT, RIA, AFP

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