Quake in China’s Sichuan Kills One, Damages Homes
Xinhua news agency reports stated that an earthquake at 5:32am hit villages in the Sichuan province of China on Sunday, 31 January 2010, leaving one person dead and 15 others injured. The earthquake damaged thousands of homes as well.
The epicenter of the earthquake was between Chongqing and Chengdu and caused the collapse of close to 100 houses. The United States Geological Survey records indicated that the earthquake registered a magnitude of 5.2 on the Richter scale, and was centered at a depth of 18.6 kilometers.
Officials from the Sichuan Provincial Earthquake Administration said that the casualties were from three villages in Moxi town located close to Suining city in Eastern Sichuan.
Xinhua reports stated that 4,700 houses were damaged by the quake in Tongnan County, located next to Suining, while losses were estimated at close to 30 million Yuan, which is around $4.5 million.
Around 40 tents and 1,500 cotton-padded quilts were sent across to the disaster-hit area by the Chongqing civil affairs authority. The Sichuan Provincial Seismological Bureau said that a 30-member team was in Moxi assisting with the disaster.
Suining’s population stands at 3.8 million people and is not an earthquake-prone area, with records of only three minor tremors measuring around 2.0 over the past two decades. Sichuan Province however, is still rebuilding from the 8.0 earthquake, which hit in 2008 and killed around 70,000 people. Known as the Wenchuan earthquake or the Great Sichuan earthquake, it was felt in countries close by and even as far off as Shanghai and Beijing.