Major 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolts China’s Xinjiang

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WEB DESK: In a seismic event that reverberated across the China-Kyrgyzstan border, a significant 7.0-magnitude earthquake jolted the region, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The quake, which occurred just after 2:00 am (1800 GMT Monday), was centred at a depth of 27 kilometres (17 miles) in China’s Xinjiang region, approximately 140 kilometres west of the city of Aksu.

Local TV channels in New Delhi, situated about 1,400 kilometres away, reported strong tremors in the Indian capital. The impact of the earthquake extended beyond its epicentre, underscoring the potential for widespread damage.

Following the initial quake, the seismic activity continued with three more recorded earthquakes in the area, measuring magnitudes of 5.5, 5.1, and 5.0, respectively.

The USGS cautioned about the possibility of casualties, emphasising the risk of significant damage in the mountainous, rural terrain where the earthquake struck.

“Significant damage is likely, and the disaster is potentially widespread,” stated the USGS report, urging preparedness and response efforts.

This seismic event comes on the heels of a tragic landslide in southwest China, which buried dozens and claimed at least eight lives. The timing of Tuesday’s earthquake raises concerns about the region’s resilience in the face of natural disasters, particularly given the recent history of seismic events.

In December, a powerful earthquake in northwest China resulted in the loss of 148 lives and displaced thousands in Gansu province.

Subzero temperatures during the aftermath of that quake presented additional challenges for aid operations, with survivors forced to gather around outdoor fires for warmth.

As authorities assess the impact of the latest earthquake along the China-Kyrgyzstan border, the spectre of previous disasters serves as a poignant reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by communities in seismic-prone regions.

The unfolding situation prompts a renewed focus on disaster preparedness and response capabilities to mitigate the potential aftermath of such events.

Read next: China landslide kills eight, dozens missing

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