A strong earthquake struck Gansu, China

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People's Republic of China

A magnitude-6.2 earthquake struck one of China's regions just before midnight on Monday, killing at least 127 people, injuring hundreds and bringing down mud houses in remote villages that never stood a chance.

Chinese state media arriving at the sixth commune of Dahe village, one of the worst-hit areas in China's northwestern Gansu province, found many houses were either at risk of collapse, or had already crumbled to the ground, especially homes built from earth and clay.

"I've lived for more than 80 years and had never seen such a big earthquake," said an old man who was being carried out of his damaged home by rescuers.

More than 155,000 homes in Gansu were either damaged or destroyed.

At 11:59 p.m. (1559 GMT) on Monday, the quake rocked Gansu's Jishishan county, at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). The epicentre was 5 km from the provincial border straddling Gansu and Qinghai, where strong tremors were also felt.

Earthquake hits China

A strong earthquake occurred about 100 km southwest of the Chinese city of Lanzhou, near the Gansu-Qinghai border region, at midnight on Tuesday. The quake had a magnitude of 6.2 according to the China Earthquake Networks Center and 5.9 according to the United States Geological Survey.

Authorities have mobilised an array of emergency responses after the quake wrecked roads and infrastructure, triggered landslides, and half buried a village in silt. But rescue work has proved challenging in sub-zero temperatures, after a powerful cold snap swept across the country.

Earthquakes are common in provinces such as Gansu, lying on the northeastern boundary of the tectonically active Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. China's deadliest quake in recent decades was in 2008 when one of magnitude-8.0 struck Sichuan, killing nearly 70,000 people.

Source: Reuters. December 20, 2023. December 20, 2023. Homes collapse as earthquake kills more than 100 in China's rural Gansu https://www.reuters.com/world/china/magnitude-61-earthquake-strikes-qinghai-china-emsc-2023-12-18/