Three people were confirmed dead and more than 300 injured when an earthquake
with a magnitude of 6.4 hit the region surrounding Pu'er city in Southwest
China's Yunnan Province early yesterday morning.
About 186,000 people have been affected by the quake, the strongest in Yunnan
Province since 1996, when a temblor with a magnitude of 7 struck the tourist
city of Lijiang.
Yesterday's 5:34 am quake shook the old town of the Hani and Yi Autonomous
County of Ning'er, about 80 km from Pu'er, according to the China Earthquake
It was followed by more than 300 aftershocks, the strongest measuring 5.1,
the local seismic bureau said.
houses in rural areas collapsed, communication networks broke down, and water
and power supplies affected.
Roads leading to the epicentre Ning'er were severely damaged. Stones lay
piled and some roads even turned into the shape of stairways, China News Agency
A spokesperson for the Yunnan provincial civil affairs department said about
120,000 people were evacuated and temporarily resettled.
President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu have
asked local governments to make every effort to help local people resume normal
A working team sent by the State Council arrived at the area yesterday
afternoon to investigate the damage and assist in rescue work. The Ministry of
Civil Affairs also sent a working group and 5,000 tents.
The Yunnan provincial civil affairs department has sent tents, quilts and
clothes, while the government of Pu'er has allocated 1 million yuan ($130,000)
for disaster relief.
Hours after the quake, parts of the communication network were restored, and
the highway between Mohei and Pu'er reopened, said Cun Qiang, vice-mayor of
The highway linking Ning'er and Dehua is being repaired, Cun said.
Medical teams were rushed to the county; and a doctor who works for the
People's Hospital of Pu'er said: "We have two more medical teams on standby,
ready to leave for the area at any minute."
Local hospitals treated more than 300 injured people and of the 28 severely
injured, 20 have been transferred to city-level hospitals, which usually have
better facilities and more skilled doctors.
Some residents jumped from their apartments in high buildings and got hurt.
The county of Ning'er, covering an area of 3,670 square km, has a population
of 190,000. It is part of Pu'er, which was called "Simao" before it was renamed
on April 8. In Chinese, Pu'er is better known as a variety of tea; and half the
city's population is said to be in the tea-making industry.
Residents in Lincang and Xishuangbanna in the south of the province, about
200 and 300 km from the epicenter, also felt the tremor.
Xinhua contributed to the story
(China Daily 06/04/2007 page1)