Gansu and Qinghai Earthquake Death toll reaches 127

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The 6.2-magnitude earthquake that jolted China’s Gansu Province and neighboring Qinghai Province at midnight Monday has killed 127 people, local authorities said Tuesday.

A total of 113 people have been killed in Gansu and 14 in Qinghai, with over 700 hundred people injured so far.

The earthquake had damaged 155,393 houses in Gansu as of 1 p.m. Tuesday, according to the provincial earthquake relief headquarters.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the quake jolted at 11:59 p.m. Monday and has a focal depth of 10 km. The epicenter Liugou Township is about 8 km from the county seat of the Bonan-Dongxiang-Salar Autonomous County of Jishishan in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu.

China has upgraded the national disaster-relief emergency response to Level II for the earthquake. Over 736 rescuers from central enterprises’ projects in nearby areas, as well as 2,042 firefighters, have been sent to the quake-hit region, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

A total of 74 people have been rescued as of 7 p.m. Tuesday, while 4,298 were evacuated and property worth over 15.3 million yuan (about 2.16 million U.S. dollars) was saved, said the ministry.

More relief supplies are also on the way. The ministry said the third batch of relief goods, including 2,000 cotton tents, 5,000 rollaway beds, 5,000 overcoats, and 10,000 quilts, have been allocated to Gansu.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, a total of 133,500 relief items have been sent to Gansu and the neighboring Qinghai Province to support the basic needs of those affected by the earthquake.

Traffic has been resumed on all rural highways connecting areas severely affected by the earthquake as of 7 p.m. Tuesday, the country’s transport authorities said Tuesday.

All the expressways as well as national and provincial trunk roads in Gansu and Qinghai are operating smoothly, and relief personnel, supplies and vehicles can reach the disaster-hit areas unimpededly, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Relentless efforts have also been made to restore power supply in quake-hit areas.

The damaged main power grid circuits in the earthquake-stricken area of Jishishan county have been fully restored as of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the State Grid Gansu Electric Power Company.

In Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, where the county is located, electricity supply for all power users has been resumed as of 7:20 p.m., said the National Energy Administration.

Power supply to users in Qinghai affected by the earthquake has also been fully restored as of 7:21 p.m., according to the State Grid Qinghai Electric Power Company.

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