Natural disaster rocks China, 13 killed

China landslide sichuan gengdi

Natural disaster rocks China, 13 killed

"We were lying on an open ground to seek shelter when a big stone fell and hit my brother right in the leg", said Romain Vallon, who studies in Beijing.

At least three people there were injured when their home collapsed, official Xinhua news agency said, adding that the initial Xinjiang quake was felt as far away as the regional capital Urumqi more than 200 kilometres to the east.

The 6.5-magnitude quake struck Sichuan province late on Tuesday, tearing cracks in mountain highways, triggering landslides, damaging buildings and sending panicked residents and tourists fleeing into the open.

Sichuan's government says around 250 were injured in the quake, and tens of thousands of tourists evacuated. Emergency officials evacuated numerous estimated 38,000 tourists in the area.

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In nearby Longnan in the neighbouring province of Gansu, also jolted by the quake, eight people died in landslides caused by heavy rain, the People's Daily said.

China's National Commission for Disaster Reduction, said as many as hundred people may have been killed and one hundred and thirty thousand homes damaged. Maxence Vallon, was wounded in both legs; while the Canadian woman, who declined to be named, suffered slight injury in the head, the report said. More than 760 replicates have been reported since 22:00 local time and experts point to new earthquakes of magnitude six in the region, highlighted China's news.

The dead included a performer in an arts group who was buried in the quake and found Wednesday morning. China's deadliest natural disaster this century, a magnitude 7.9 temblor in May 2008, struck the same mountainous prefecture as Tuesday's quake, killing almost 90,000 people. Falling rocks brought by aftershocks have hampered their efforts. As of 1pm, all flights from the airport had been delayed with scores of passengers stranded. Relief goods including tents, quilts and clothes have been sent for the affected residents. A tourist, surnamed Liu, said that they had stayed up all night. "There were more than 30 guests at my hostel, I have to start fires to keep them warm".

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