6.1 Earthquake in China kills 2 and injures 17
Yangbi, China: A woman walks near buildings damaged by an overnight earthquake in Yangbi County, Dali Prefecture, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, May 22, 2021. AFP
YUNNAN: A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck southwest China’s Yunnan province on Friday night, killing at least two people, local officials and seismologists said.
The US Geological Survey said the epicenter of the earthquake – which struck at 9:48 p.m. at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers – was near the town of Dali, a popular tourist destination. The original magnitude of 6.0 has been revised upwards.
Two people have been confirmed dead after the earthquake in the mountainous province, local officials said in a statement in the early hours of Saturday, adding that at least 17 others were injured and were receiving treatment.
More than 20,000 people have been evacuated, the Yunnan government said. Over 100,000 people live in the region, the vast majority of them in rural communities.
Local media published videos showing ceiling lights swinging and vases falling from shelves, as well as groups of people who had run outside after the earthquake.
The provincial government said some buildings collapsed and others were damaged, and that “the disaster situation was being further checked.”
The China Earthquake Networks Center warned people to “stay away from buildings” in a post on the Weibo platform, similar to Twitter. The earthquake monitor said the quake followed a series of smaller earthquakes less than an hour before.
Yunnan is extremely vulnerable to earthquakes. The region experiences frequent seismic activity due to the collision of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, which form the vast Himalayan mountain range.
In October 2014, hundreds of people were injured and more than 100,000 displaced after a low-magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Yunnan, near China’s borders with Myanmar and Laos.
China is regularly hit by earthquakes, especially in its mountainous regions of western and southwestern Yunnan.
A powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake in southwestern Sichuan province in 2008 left 87,000 dead or missing.