10/08/2014, 00.00
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Earthquake in Yunnan: 7 thousand collapsed houses, five deaths, but fears the death toll will rise

So far official figures speak of one death. Over 55 thousand people evacuated. Damage to infrastructure: 36 bridges destroyed; cracks in a dam. Soldiers, police and medical personnel arrive in the area of the earthquake.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit Jinggu and neighboring counties in Yunnan last night. The official figures report one dead and 324 wounded, eight of whom are in a critical condition. But eyewitness accounts say that there are at least five dead and their number is expected to rise as rescuers reach the affected areas.

In the town of Yongping some houses have collapsed, but most of them are standing. Many people, fearing the collapse of the houses in aftershocks, slept outside in tents or in the parks.

According to Xinhua, last night 13 thousand houses were damaged; 7 thousand have collapsed, causing problems for about 93 thousand inhabitants in the county,  400 km southeast of Kunming, the provincial capital. So far 56880 people have been evacuated.

There has been severe damage to infrastructure: 36 bridges have collapsed and the Changhai dam, near Yongping, has a 5-8 cm wide crack.

Overnight the army has sent more than 1,000 soldiers and medical personnel; 1,000 provincial police have also arrived in the affected area.

Until 8 o'clock this morning there were more than 200 aftershocks, some of them of magnitude 4 and 4.9.

The region of Yunnan is an earthquake zone. Last August there were two other earthquakes that have caused the death of 600 people.


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