Videos shared on social media depict the horrifying moments when a powerful earthquake struck two provinces in China, resulting in more than 120 deaths.
What happened: The massive earthquake measuring a magnitude of 5.9, or 6.2 on the Richter scale, struck China‘s Gansu and Qinghai provinces at 11:59 p.m. local time on Monday. The seismic activity caused widespread destruction, damaging 15,000 houses and knocking out electricity, water and transportation links in Gansu.
Death toll: According to officials and state media on Tuesday, 113 people were killed in Gansu and another 13 in the city of Haidong in Qinghai. There were also more than 500 others who were injured.
Footage of the quake: Many videos capturing the moments of impact surfaced online, depicting the intense shaking of buildings and homes in Gansu province’s major cities like Xi’an and Chengdu. The aftermath revealed collapsed houses, damaged infrastructure and a sense of panic among residents who sought refuge in the streets.
In one video, panic ensued at an eatery, with people rushing outside to safety. Some images on social media displayed cracked buildings, debris-covered roads and damaged gates and windows.
Rescue efforts: Communist Party officials and President Xi Jinping called for immediate and comprehensive efforts in search, relief and safeguarding survivors. Emergency teams have been prompted to sift through rubble to rescue those trapped. Rescue operations were reportedly conducted amid freezing temperatures, with residents seen warming themselves by fires in affected areas.
When the earthquake hit, the temperatures were reportedly about -4 degrees Fahrenheit. On Tuesday morning, rescue workers swiftly established rows of tents in the main squares of affected villages. Their efforts included the urgent delivery of tens of thousands of blankets, mattresses and coats to provide relief and support to the affected residents.