BEIJING: A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck China’s Sichuan on Monday, the most powerful earthquake in the region since 2017, killing at least seven people and shaking the provincial capital Chengdu and other provinces. According to state television, some roads and homes near the quake’s epicenter were damaged by the landslide, while communication services were disrupted in at least one area.
The epicenter of the quake was in the city of Luding at a depth of 16 km (10 mi), the China Earthquake Network Center said, about 226 km (140 mi) southwest of Chengdu, a city of about 21 million people.
A few minutes later an aftershock of magnitude 4.2 struck the city of Yan, about 100 km (60 mi) southwest of Chengdu.
Earthquakes are common in the southwestern province of Sichuan, especially its mountains to the west, a tectonically active region along the eastern boundary of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
According to the state media China News Service, in Luding, the earthquake was so strong that it was difficult for some people to stand, and some houses were cracked.
Video clips posted on social media showed lights swinging as people came out of buildings to the streets.
According to state television, a total of 39,000 people live within a 20-km (12.5 mi) radius of the quake’s epicenter and 1.55 million within a 100-km (62 mi) radius.
The earthquake was Sichuan’s biggest earthquake since April 2013 when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the city of Yan, killing more than 100 people and injuring thousands.
The most powerful Sichuan earthquake on record was in May 2008 when a magnitude 8.0 earthquake centered in Wenchuan killed nearly 70,000 people and caused extensive damage.
Monday’s quake was felt hundreds of kilometers away in Changsha in Hunan province and Xian in Shaanxi province, according to social media posts.
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