Natural disaster in Sichuan, China Kills 19

China landslide sichuan gengdi

Local residents were also being moved to safer ground, according to the authorities. It also knocked out power and phone networks, complicating efforts to locate and evacuate survivors.

So far, 19 people have been confirmed dead and 343 injured. The epicentre of the tremor was in Ngawa prefecture, largely populated by ethnic Tibetans, many of whom are nomadic herders. Hong Kong's immigration department said one of the city's residents was missing in the quake.

Maxence Vallon, 18, from France, needed surgery to remove rock fragments from his legs. "Some things fell off the table", he said. "People from other regions are a pretty frightened", she said.

A quake in Sichuan in May 2008 killed nearly 70,000 people.

Over 800 workers are combing villages in search of anyone still trapped, the provincial quake relief headquarters said.

The Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth under the Chinese Academy of Sciences drew the conclusion from satellite imagery collected after the magnitude 6.5 quake struck Tuesday night, the official Xinhua News Agency and state broadcaster CCTV said Thursday. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage than deeper ones. The epicenter was about 39 kilometers (24 miles) from the county of Jiuzhaigou, which has a population of around 80,000, and was 285 kilometers (177 miles) from Chengdu, the densely populated capital of Sichuan province, reported AP. The quake measured 7.0 on the Richter scale. Traffic on a major highway linking Jiuzhai-Huanglong Airport to the county resumed today. The electricity to the 17 towns in Jiuzhaigou country has been revived. The number of people injured during a powerful natural disaster in China's southwestern Sichuan province has grown to 493.

A strong natural disaster of magnitude 6.3 struck a remote area of far northwestern China in Xinjiang region, about seven hours after Tuesday's Sichuan quake, according to the USGS. Over two million tourists come from within China and the world over annually to see the richly hued turquoise-colored lakes and perforated karst landscapes.

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