The strongest quake occurred last night. The area is a very well-known tourist area. Yesterday 38,000 tourists visited the site. Emergency teams are in action along with four helicopters and rescue dogs. Yesterday’s shock brought back memories of the 2008 earthquake that killed 87,000 people.
Chengdu (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A new shock struck the city of Jiuzhaigou (Sichuan) this morning at 10.17 am, after a much stronger earthquake yesterday when the popular tourist site was hit by a magnitude 7 quake at 9.20 pm.
First reports say about 13 people were dead and 175 injured, but some official sources indicate possibly hundreds of deaths. This morning's shock had a magnitude 4.8; other shocks are expected.
The epicentre of the earthquake was about 300 kilometres north of the provincial capital Chengdu, at a depth of 10 kilometres, in a very crowded tourist area.
According to Xinhua, at least 38,000 tourists visited the area the day before. Jiuzhaigou is at the centre of a famous nature reserve, and UNESCO heritage site. The shock was also felt in Xian (Shaanxi), 700 kilometres northeast of Chengdu.
The Sichuan provincial government sent about 1,200 firefighters and 30 rescue dogs.
The army sent four helicopters to view the damage and organise rescue operations. Several roads in the area were blocked due to landslides. Other landslides were caused by rain.
Xinhua reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping called for all-out efforts to rapidly organise relief work and rescue.
North Sichuan is a very active seismic area. A powerful earthquake killed more than 87,000 people in May 2008, including thousands of children who died when poorly-built schools collapsed.