BEIJING, April 20 – At least 124 people were killed and over 3,000 injured when a powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked southwest China’s Sichuan province today, flattening more than 10,000 homes in a seismic mountainous region that suffered a catastrophic quake in 2008, reports PTI.The quake struck the province on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau at 8:02 am, prompting a major relief and rescue operation in the same area where 90,000 people were reported dead or missing in a 8-magnitude quake in 2008.
Ten hours after the quake hit Lushan county in the city of Ya’an, the death toll stood at 124, state television station CCTV said on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo, citing the China Earthquake Administration.
The epicentre of the earthquake was reported to be at a depth of 13 km and was monitored at 30.3o north latitude and 103.0o east longitude.
The quake flattened the historic Lushan county and iconic Ya’an City, home of endangered giant Pandas on the foot hills of Tibetan plateau.
Over 3,000 people were injured of which the condition of over 200 was said to be serious, Chinese officials said.
To help rescue operations, about 6,000 soldiers and police were heading to the area where five drones were deployed to capture aerial images, Xinhua news agency said.
Though a notch less, Chinese earthquake experts said today’s quake caused massive destruction as it was a shallow one taking place just below 13 km down the earth, putting a lot of punch in its tremors.