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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

State media reports powerful 7.1 earthquake hits isolated western China

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BEIJING — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake⁤ struck a remote part of China’s western Xinjiang region early Tuesday, downing power lines, destroying at least two homes and prompting authorities to ⁤suspend trains, state media reported.

The earthquake, which occurred ‍in the Tian Shan mountain range, has caused ‍significant damage to the ⁤region. The U.S. Geological‌ Survey reported that the largest quake in the area in the past century was ⁢a 7.1-magnitude one in 1978 about 200 kilometers to the north of one early Tuesday.

Xinhua ⁣News Agency cited ⁣the ⁣China ⁢Earthquake Networks Center as saying⁣ the quake ‌rocked Uchturpan ⁢county⁢ in Aksu prefecture⁣ shortly after 2 a.m. local time.⁤ Two houses collapsed,⁣ Aksu authorities said, and around 200 emergency rescuers were dispatched to the quake’s epicenter, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

There ​were ⁢no immediate⁣ reports ⁢of fatalities, but the ​earthquake has caused widespread panic and disruption in the region. The Xinjiang railway authority suspended dozens​ of trains in the region and⁤ sealed off⁢ the affected sections, CCTV reported. The quake downed power lines, but electricity was quickly restored to the region, Aksu authorities reported.

State broadcaster CCTV said there were​ 14 aftershocks since the main quake, with two registering above 5 magnitude. The earthquake struck in a rural area populated mostly by Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnicity that is predominantly Muslim and has been the target⁣ of a state campaign of‌ forced assimilation ⁣and mass detention ‌in recent years.

Uchturpan county at the quake’s epicenter is recording temperatures well below zero, with lows just below zero F forecast by the ‍China Meteorological Administration this week. Parts of northern and central China have⁣ shivered under‍ frigid cold snaps this winter, ​with authorities closing schools ⁢and highways several times due to ‍snowstorms.

The earthquake has also​ been felt as far ⁢away as the‌ neighboring ⁢countries Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. In the Kazakh capital of Almaty, people left their homes, the⁤ Russian news agency Tass ⁢reported. Videos posted on the social messaging platform ‌Telegram showed people in Almaty ⁤running down the stairs of​ apartment blocks​ and standing outside in the street after they felt strong tremors.

An earthquake shook China’s northwestern Gansu province in December,‌ killing 151 people. It was the deadliest earthquake in ‌China in nine years. Most of China’s earthquakes strike in the western part of the country, including Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan ⁢and Yunnan provinces, as well as the Xinjiang region and Tibet.

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Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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