On Monday morning, an earthquake with an estimated 5.9-6.6 magnitude hit the farming area of northwest China prompting landslides and destroying hundreds of buildings. Early reports from the official Xinhua news agency had stated that 22 people died, but since then, more mortalities have been confirmed. Now, Huffington Post reports that the earthquake has claimed the lives of at least 75 people and has injured over 400. There are still over a dozen people missing which could add onto this death toll.
Eight towns within the area sustained serious damage. Zhangxian county reports over 380 collapsed buildings and 5,600 damaged buildings. Nearly 2,000 homes were destroyed and 14,066 homes have been left without power.
Heavy rain following the earthquake contributed to the situation by causing mudslides and landslides throughout the area. Subsequent tremors, including a magnitude 5.6 aftershock, hit the same area 90 minutes later.
Disaster-relief teams have been rushed to the scene and nearly 500 people have been sent so far. These individuals include rescue workers and military units. Hospital aid-stations have been set up all over to help with the overwhelming number of injured victims. Hundreds of paramilitary People’s Armed Police have been sent to locate missing people and the Chinese Red Cross has sent over survival material including tents, jackets, and household items.
Because communication has been disrupted in such a wide area, the reported amount of inured and killed people continues to rise.