(RepublicanJournal.org) – A major earthquake recently shook central China late at night, killing at least 127 people. Local officials are calling it the country’s deadliest quake in a decade. It left damage and injuries in two provinces, with people presumed missing in building rubble and deadly landslides.
The tremor hit shortly before midnight on December 17, striking the border region between the Gansu and Qinghai provinces. The mountainous region, which rests up against the Tibetan plateau, is a relatively common spot for earthquakes, but they usually aren’t this deadly.
The last time China saw such devastation was in September 2022, when a 6.8 magnitude quake struck the Sichuan province and left 93 people dead. The country had gone roughly six years without a major event, with the next last to hit occurring in August 2014 in the Yunnan province. That tremor, which measured a 6.1 magnitude, killed 617 people. China saw one of its deadliest earthquakes in 2008 when a 7.9 magnitude tremor hit the Sichuan province. Officials believe that event killed nearly 90,000 people.
Sources state that this latest quake measured 6.2 on the Richter scale, although the New York Post reported the US Geological Survey Measured it at 5.9. Aftershocks continued, with nine recorded in the first 10 hours following the initial event and the strongest measuring 4.1. Officials deployed over 4,000 first responders and soldiers to help with the search and rescue operation, setting up a command post at the People’s Liberation Army Western Theatre to organize the effort.
Displaced survivors took shelter in tents at evacuation sites. Below-freezing temperatures complicated the rescue, and coordinators were reportedly requesting heavy coats, generators, and stove fuel to keep up with their needs. Victims were predominantly Muslim, so the coordinator also asked that any relief food sent be respectful of the religious group’s dietary restrictions.
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