Twenty-two people are confirmed dead in an earthquake that
jolted southwest China's
Yunnan Province on Saturday, the local government said
The earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter Scale also injured
106 people in the city of Zhaotong, eight of whom seriously, said
Tian Rongping, a spokesman with the city government.
The local health authorities have sent at least 300 medical
workers to the quake-hit areas to provide first-aid to the injured,
said Chen Hua, head of the city's health bureau.
He said timely treatment has brought all the eight seriously
injured people out of danger.
Eight-year-old Tang Jianhong was playing outside when she was
hit by a falling rock and was badly injured on the waist, legs and
belly. She was immediately sent to the nearest hospital in
Huanggecao New District of Yanjin County.
Tang's doctor said she has responded to emergency treatment and
is now in stable condition.
To prevent epidemics in the disaster-hit areas, local health
authorities have sent disease control specialists to sterilize
every corner of the local communities.
The quake was reported at 9:10 a.m. Saturday with the epicenter
located in Yanjin County of Zhaotong, in the northern part of
Yanjin County is located on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and has a
population of 350,000.
The death toll stood at 20 Saturday night and two more
fatalities were confirmed early on Sunday, said Tian. "One was a
driver whose car was hit by a rock in the mud-rock flow following
the quake and the other a newly confirmed victim from Zhonghe
Thanks to emergency repairs work overnight, power supply has
been resumed in most of the quake-hit villages, paving the way for
further rescue operation, Tian said.
By 3:00 a.m., railway workers have finished repairing most
damaged sections of an artery railway that links Yunnan Province
with other southwestern provinces of Guizhou and Sichuan as well as
"All the three trains that were stranded in the province
yesterday left early on Sunday, and we expect to complete all the
repair work within today," said Liu Zhenfang, vice director of the
Kunming Railway Bureau.
Earlier resumption of the train service will facilitate the
inflow of relief materials, he said.
Saturday's earthquake toppled more than 1,400 houses and damaged
38,000 others in 13 townships of the county as most houses in
Yanjin are built on hillside and therefore vulnerable to
In Dousha Township, the worst-hit area, a large number of
wooden-structured houses have been ruined. A huge crevice was seen
on the wall of a school building.
"I've never imagined such a terrible scene -- so many houses
just disappeared all at once," said Jiang Guanzhi, an 81-year-old
Rescuers helped local residents evacuate to safer places. Many
people gathered together near a primary school Saturday night, with
ample supply of instant noodles and mineral water.
Local governments launched emergency rescue operations
immediately after the earthquake, sending money, tents, quilts and
blankets to the quake-ravaged areas.
(Xinhua News Agency July 23, 2006)