At least eight people killed by Xinjiang earthquake

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/11 21:38:39

China has activated emergency response procedures following a 5.5-magnitude earthquake in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region early Thursday morning which left at least eight dead and 23 others injured.

The Xinhua News Agency reported that 9,200 of 12,000 affected people from Taxkorgan county have been brought to safer areas, while the injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals. More than 1,000 Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and police officers are leading rescue efforts, as relief goods are rushed to the quake-stricken area, according to the quake emergency response headquarters.

Quzgun village, a village 10 kilometers from Taxkorgan county, bore the brunt of the earthquake, with hundreds of livestock injured or killed and 1,520 homes damaged, Xinhua reported.

"We rushed to the disaster area as soon as we heard the news," Cao Haojun, a non-commissioned officer of a PLA border garrison troop sent to Quzgun village, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Cao said 136 people of his troop are helping villagers in temporary tents and transferring their belongings from damaged homes.

"Most of the villagers still lived in clay buildings, so the earthquake heavily damaged around 60 percent of them," Cao said, adding that several aftershocks followed as well as some rain at noon. "But most villagers are fine."

The epicenter had a depth of about eight kilometers in the southeast part of the Pamir Plateau, Xinhua reported.

Taxkorgan is located 1,250 kilometers from Urumqi, the regional capital, and borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

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