China's Sichuan province is reeling from a powerful earthquake that struck early Saturday (April 20). The quake measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale. The US Geological Survey recorded the quake as magnitude 6.6.
As of 1.00pm on Sunday (April 21), China's Ministry of Civil Affairs reports that 203 people have been killed. More than 11,000 are injured.
The major quake hit Lushan County in Ya’an City, a remote mountainous area. Houses in Lushan have been reduced to rubble. Residents are still grappling with the disaster, with many too scared to stay inside buildings. Since the earthquake struck at 8.02am on Saturday, more than 1,200 aftershocks have been recorded.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has visited the area. He and Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping have issued orders to find survivors. So far 90 people have been rescued, according to state-run media.
To cope with the large number of injuries, and to prevent further damage from aftershocks, tents have been set up around Lushan’s People’s Hospital to help treat the wounded.
State-run media has been quick to report that the quake did not cause damage to any Sichuan-based nuclear power facilities. Xinhua reports that drinking water is safe. Electricity has not been restored to the area, and several transport routes remain cut off.
The quake’s epicenter is situated around 120 miles away from a devastating tremor that killed more than 70,000 people in 2008, in Wenchuan, Sichuan province.
Buildings and road damaged in Lushan, Sichuan province (AFP/Getty Images)
An injured resident receiving treatment in outdoor tent. (AFP/Getty Images)
Local road blocked by a fallen boulder. (AFP/Getty Images)
Residents help carry injured people to the hospital. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
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