China: 6.6 magnitude earthquake strikes southwest

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit southwest China on Monday, shaking buildings in Chengdu, a major city restricted by Covid-19, according to the US Institute of Geological Survey (USGS).

The earthquake was recorded at 12:52 local time (04:52 GMT) in the mountainous Sichuan province, its estimated depth was 10 kilometers, and the epicenter was located about 43 kilometers from the city of Kangding.

Authorities reported no immediate deaths or injuries.

Videos posted on social networks by Internet users show chandeliers swinging from the ceiling or an aquarium filled with fish, the water in which has overflowed due to shaking.

Other images showed buildings shaking and rocks falling off cliffs.

Sichuan regularly suffers from earthquakes. The quake was felt in several cities in the province, including the region’s capital, Chengdu, with a population of 21 million, about 200 kilometers away.

The shaking was “relatively strong,” local resident Chen, who did not give her full name, told AFP. “Some of my downstairs neighbors said they felt (it) very clearly,” she added.

The city of Chengdu extended the quarantine of its residents on Sunday after discovering hundreds of new positive cases of coronavirus in recent days.

According to the official news agency Xinhua, more than 500 firefighters and rescuers were sent to the epicenter of the earthquake. Authorities report multiple aftershocks in the area of ​​the first quake.

A resident of Chongqing, a major municipality in the province more than 400 kilometers from the epicenter, told AFP that the lights in his apartment began to shake.

Earthquake in China (AFP – )

Sichuan, very mountainous and world famous for its panda reserves, usually suffers from earthquakes of varying intensity several times a month.

In June, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake had already rocked the province, killing at least four people and injuring dozens.

In May 2008, a very strong earthquake of magnitude 7.9 hit Sichuan province, killing or missing 87,000 people. The disaster was a national shock.

Among the victims were thousands of students who died as a result of the collapse of precariously built schools. Police at the time arrested activists who were trying to count the exact number of children who died in the disaster.

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