An earthquake that hit China’s southwestern Sichuan province has killed at least 65 people and injured more than 200 others.
The 6.6-magnitude quake struck southwest of Sichuan’s capital Chengdu at around 1 p.m. local time on Monday with aftershocks continuing into Tuesday, impacting an estimated 1 million people.
There are currently 65 deaths, 248 injuries and at least 12 people missing, according to reports.
The epicenter of the earthquake was located about 27 miles southeast of Kangding, a city of around 100,000 people, according to the United States Geological Survey. The tremor was also felt hundreds of kilometers away in the provinces of Shaanxi and Guizhou.
Over 1,000 soldiers have been called to assist in the rescue efforts. Over 50,000 people have relocated to safer areas, while rescuers continue to retrieve over 200 people stranded in the quake zone. They are also delivering food supplies to residents and restoring telecommunications services, power and water utilities.
China’s President Xi Jinping reportedly ordered local authorities to “make saving lives the first priority” and “minimize loss of life” in the region impacted by the earthquake.
In a viral video captured on a vehicle’s dashcam, a vehicle can be seen driving along a street when the earthquake struck. Trees can be seen violently swaying just before the facade of a building crumbles onto the street as people run away from the scene.
The quake is reportedly Sichuan’s biggest since August 2017, when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake previously hit the Aba prefecture north of Luding. The area is susceptible to earthquakes due to the Longmenshan Fault, which borders the Sichuan Basin and runs through Sichuan’s mountains.
Before the quake, Sichuan has also experienced its worst heat wave on record this summer, leading to a massive drought and wildfires.
“These so-called extreme weather events will have more impact on our lives and electricity supply,” Li Shuo, a climate adviser with Greenpeace in Beijing, previously told CNN. “And perhaps we all need to reconsider whether these extreme events will become the new normal.”