China earthquake kills 19, injures 247

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Earthquake
Sichuan earthquake Picture Credit: Wikimedia

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck a remote, mountainous part of China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, killing 19 people, including eight tourists, and injuring 247, the provincial government and official media said on Wednesday.

The quake hit a sparsely populated area 200 km northwest of the city of Guangyuan late on Tuesday at a depth of 10 km, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It was also close to the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve, a tourist destination.

Sichuan is frequently struck by tremors. A huge quake there in May 2008 killed almost 70,000 people.

The Sichuan government said rescuers were gradually evacuating tourists and residents who had been cut off by landslides.

It added that 19 people had been killed, but most of those injured were not seriously hurt.

The dead included eight tourists, two residents and nine whose identities have yet to be confirmed at the time of printing.

The area was rattled by aftershocks on Wednesday.

Pictures on state-run social media sites showed some damage in Jiuzhaigou, with tiles having fallen off buildings and people gathering outdoors.

State television said electricity had largely been restored to affected areas and the military was also sending rescuers.

The Sichuan government said on one of its official social media sites that more than 38,000 tourists were visiting Jiuzhaigou.

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