China quake kills 22, injures 300

Beijing, July 22: At least 22 people were killed and 300 injured on Monday after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake jolted two counties in China's northwestern Gansu Province, local authorities said.

The quake shook the area at 7:45 am (local time) at the junction of the Minxian County and Zhangxian County, the Gansu Provincial Seismological Bureau said.

The epicentre was at 151 kilometres west of Beidao in Gansu province at a depth of just 9.8 kilometres.

The government has initiated emergency relief measures by mobilising relief teams and supplies.

Sources with the Minxian County government said most of the townships in the county have been hit by the quake. The locals in Minxian County said strong tremor was felt in the area and they saw trees and homes were shaking.

They also said that the quake lasted for about one minute. Meanwhile, the earthquake was also felt in neighboring cities of Dingxi, Longnan, Tianshui, as well as the provincial capital city of Lanzhou.

The cities of Xi'an, Baoji and Xianyang in neighboring Shaanxi Province were also reported to have felt the quake.

Soldiers, police and more than 300 local militiamen have been dispatched to the quake-hit region to help with rescue efforts.

The provincial civil affairs department has sent 500 tents and 2,000 quilts to the quake-hit region. Lanzhou Railway Bureau has started the emergency response to guarantee the safety of railway bridges and communication equipment in the province.

Light to moderate rain and partly heavy rain were forecast in Dingxi city, according to the provincial meteorological station, which would affect the rescue efforts.

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