DHARAMSALA, Nov 24: A 6.3-magnitude earthquake jolted a heavily Tibetan populated region in Kardze Prefecture in Sichuan Province on Nov 22, killing five and injuring 54 others.
Among the 54 injured, six were in critical condition, five suffered severe injuries and the remaining 43 sustained minor injuries, including 19 primary school students who got hurt in a stampede.
The quake with Tagong (Tib: Lhagang) Township in Kangding (Tib: Dartsedo) County as the epicenter struck at 4:55 pm (local time) according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre.
About 80,000 people have been affected by the quake and 25,000 houses were damaged. About 6,200 people have been forced to relocate, according to a statement by the provincial civil affairs department.
Chinese President Xi Jinping who was on a state-visit to Fiji called on authorities to speed up rescue operations.
“The provincial and civil affairs authorities must be swift in organising rescue and relief work and do their best to minimise casualties,” State media Xinhua quoted President Xi Jinping as saying.
Two hours after the quake occurred, a 35-member rescue team of armed police arrived at Tagong Township, reported Xinhua which also claimed that six military aircraft, 60 medical staff and nearly 1,000 soldiers and militia remain on standby.
A massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck Wenchuan (Tib: Lungu) in the same province on May 12, 2008, killing more than 80,000 people. On April 20, 2013, a 7.0-magnitude quake hit Lushan (Tib: Yak Nga), killing at least 196.