China / Society

Firefighters, armed police arrive for quake rescue

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-08 12:18

Firefighters, armed police arrive for quake rescue
Rescuers set up tent for survivors after a 6.6-magnitude quake hit Jinggu county, Southwest China's Yunnan province, Sept 8, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - More than 800 firefighters joined rescue operations in Jinggu county of Southwest China's Yunnan Province after the area was jolted by a 6.6-magnitude quake Tuesday night.

The firemen, with 132 fire vehicles and 35 sniffer dogs, have helped relocate 450 locals to safe places, said a statement from the Ministry of Public Security's fire department on Wednesday.

The team is also searching houses for survivors and helping build tents.

The People's Liberation Army Armed Police also arrived soon after the quake and transferred more than 680 people to safe places.  

Yunnan governor Li Jiheng is currently taking command of the rescue team. He arrived at the epicenter of the 6.6-magnitude earthquake at 3:50 a.m. in Yongping Township, Jinggu county.

By Wednesday morning, the quake, which struck at 9:49 p.m. Beijing Time, has left 324 people injured and forced 124,6000 people from their homes.

No major geographic hazards have appeared.

Rescuers said the region experienced little to no rain in the past few days, helping reduce the risks of landslides and other geographical disasters following the earthquake.

However, they are worried tremors may have cracked a dam at the Changhai Reservoir 10 km upstream of Yongping Township.

Governor Li urged the water resources department to take emergency measures to eliminate the possible risk.

On Wednesday, Chen Deliang, education chief of Jinggu County, said classes have been suspended in the county, as 100 schools were damaged in the earthquake.

"An estimated 170,000 square meters of school houses need repairs," Chen said without giving a deadline when they would reopen.

He said local authorities will help build makeshift houses so classes can resume as soon as possible.

Jinggu, about 460 kilometers southwest of Kunming, the provincial capital, has a population of 290,000.

Yunnan has initiated the Class-I emergency response, the highest, sending rescue staff and materials to the affected areas.

On August 3, a 6.5-magnitude quake hit Ludian, also in Yunnan, killing more than 600 people.

The quake zone has experienced constant aftershocks. Power supply was cut in some towns, but traffic to the quake zone remains open.

Hot Topics