A house is damaged in quake-affected Lixian County, northwest China’s Gansu Province, July 22. (Xinhua/Li Yaoqin)
LANZHOU, (Xinhua): At least 22 people have been killed in an earthquake which hit a juncture region of two counties in northwest China’s Gansu Province Monday morning, according to the provincial civil affairs department.
The victims include 19 in Minxian County, two in Zhangxian County in the city of Dingxi and one in Lixian County in the city of Longnan, according to the department.
Communication was cut off in 13 towns of Zhangxian County, it said.
The 6.6-magnitude quake happened at 7:45 a.m. at the junction of the Minxian County and Zhangxian County, the Gansu Provincial Seismological Bureau said.
The epicenter, with a depth of 20 km, was monitored at 34.5 degrees north latitude and 104.2 degrees east longitude, the China Earthquake Networks Center said.
Sources with the Minxian County government said most of the townships in the county have been affected by the quake. The townships of Meichuan and Puma were seriously hit.
Many homes in the quake-hit region collapsed, according to the civil affairs bureau of the Dingxi City.
Locals in Minxian County said a strong tremor was felt and they saw trees and homes shake, adding that the quake lasted for about one minute.
Soldiers, police and more than 300 local militiamen have been dispatched to the quake-hit region to help with rescue efforts.
The provincial civil affairs department has sent 500 tents and 2,000 quilts to the quake-hit region.
Lanzhou Railway Bureau has started the emergency response to guarantee the safety of railway bridges and communication equipment in the province.
Light to moderate rain and partly heavy rain were forecast in Dingxi city, according to the provincial meteorological station, which would affect the rescue efforts.
Meanwhile, the earthquake was also felt in Tianshui city and the provincial capital city of Lanzhou.
The quake was also felt in the cities of Xi’an, Baoji and Xianyang in neighboring Shaanxi Province.