Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

China natural disaster toll rises to 24

China natural disaster toll rises to 24

Jiuzhaigou: The death toll from a 7.0-magnitude natural disaster that struck Jiuzhaigou county in Sichuan province on Tuesday night rose to 20 and the tally of the injured rose to 431, including 18 seriously.

Over 70,000 people have been evacuated from the area affected by the 6.5-7.0-magnitude natural disaster.

President Xi Jinping called for an all-out effort to quickly organize aid and rescue measures.

The affected region, Jiuzhaigou county, includes one of the country's most famous national parks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for karst formations and lakes.

"The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela would like to give words of condolences to our brother, the Government of the People's Republic of China following the quake that occured on the 8th of August, in the town of Jiuzhaigou in the central province of Sichuan", the office of the exterior relations said in a statement.

Safer in the open: Residents fearing aftershocks sleeping outside their houses after an natural disaster in Zhangzha town, Jiuzhaigou county.

Premier Li Keqiang also urged local authorities to go all out in relief and monitoring work.

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Two foreigners, a French man and a Canadian woman, are among the injured.

Since the quake took place during the peak tourist season as well as flood season, authorities should enhance meteorological warnings and geological monitoring to guard against other disasters and try their best to protect people's lives and property, Xi added.

Hundreds of soldiers and rescue personnel have been deployed to the Jiuzhaigou area, along with hundreds of vehicles, and dozens of sniffer dogs and devices to detect life under the rubble.

The second quake in Jinghe county in Bortala prefecture in Xinjiang province happened at 7.27 a.m. on Wednesday at a depth of 11 km.

Restaurant owner Tang Sesheng fled her establishment in Jiuzhaigou town after she felt the earth moving under her.

Tuesday's natural disaster has brought back memories of the devastating 8.0-magnitude quake in China's Sichuan which left 87,000 people dead or missing back in 2008 - one of the largest earthquakes in human history in terms of loss of human life and material devastation.

"People didn't dare grab anything like money or clothes - we just all ran outside right away".

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