400,000 flee homes after China quake
BEIJING - More than 400,000 people have left their homes after an earthquake rocked southwestern China, killing one person and destroying thousands of houses, state media said yesterday.
Thursday’s magnitude-6.0 temblor, centered in Yunnan Province’s Yao’an County, also injured 325 others, 24 seriously, the Xinhua News Agency said.
Yunnan Television showed displaced residents sleeping outdoors in makeshift beds made up of brightly colored quilts. Others packed into emergency tents, bundles of provisions and clothing in tow.
Often people leave even undamaged houses after earthquakes because they are afraid to sleep indoors while aftershocks continue to shake the area.
Piles of rubble from damaged houses made of brick and clay were scattered on the ground in the footage. At a hospital, nurses gave intravenous drips to the elderly.
Eight aftershocks have followed Thursday’s quake, with the latest registering 5.2 in magnitude last night, Xinhua said. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
An official at Yao’an’s disaster relief command center said late yesterday that rescuers at the scene were still assessing the damage, but he did not expect the death toll to rise.
More collapsed homes, however, may be discovered in the mountainous, sparsely populated area, he said. He hung up without giving his name or any more details.
So far, Xinhua said, about 18,000 homes have been destroyed and another 75,000 were damaged, Xinhua said.