Southwest rattled by second quake

Updated: 2013-09-01 08:08

By Hu Yongqi and Guo Anfei in Kunming(China Daily)

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 Southwest rattled by second quake

Rescue work is underway after the 5.9-magnitude earthquake. Wang Xinghao / For China Daily

Another earthquake killed at least five and injured more than two dozen in three counties in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces on Saturday - four days after a 5.1-magnitude temblor in the same area destroyed thousands of houses and national highway sections.

At 8:04 am, the 5.9-magnitude quake ravaged Shangri-La and Deqen counties in Yunnan's Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture and Derong county in Sichuan's Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture.

The quake zone had experienced 260 aftershocks by 4 pm, Diqing's rescue headquarters reported. The strongest was 4.9-magnitude.

By midday, the rescue headquarters had dispatched 6,000 tents, 9,500 coats, 9,500 quilts, 7,000 makeshift beds and 7,000 cushions, Diqing prefecture's government reported. Neighboring Lijiang city's government donated 5,000 quilts and 5,000 coats.

Diqing's firefighters rushed to the epicenter straddling Shangri-La's Xingfu village and Deqen's Duotong village, and saved six stranded survivors.

The fire-fighting department of Sichuan's provincial police force sent 125 officers with four search-and-rescue dogs to the epicenter.

The affected area of the Deqing-Zhongdian fault line is sparsely populated with eight people per square kilometer, Yunnan Earthquake Bureau spokesman Li Fei said. There were fewest casualties in the high-altitude areas and river valleys, Li said.

At least 17 people were injured and treated at the Shangri-La People's Hospital. They include seven travelers from the Tibet autonomous region and Gansu province.

The highway from Nyishar township, which contains the epicenter, to Shangri-La's county seat has been cleared of a landslide, and 80 vehicles had passed.

The National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs responded three hours after the disaster. Yunnan's governor Li Jiheng also rushed to the Diqing rescue headquarters.

"No effort will be spared in treating the injured and caring for the victims," Li said.

The power supply was restored to Deqen's county seat by 1:30 pm, and local authorities were working to fix surrounding power outages. A landslide still blocked the road between Shangri-La and Weixi county.

The tourism bureau of Diqing had temporarily shut three major sightseeing sites, including the Tiger Leaping Gorge, for security concerns.

Diqing's earthquake, land and resources, and civil affairs departments had started emergency operations to inspect affected sites for potential dangers, the headquarters said.

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(China Daily 09/01/2013 page2)