Efforts shift to treating the injured, resettlement, debris removal in the aftermath of 6.2-magnitude Jishishan earthquake: authorities
Published: Dec 21, 2023 03:21 PM
A rescue personnel conducts cleaning at the relocation site in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Northwest China's Gansu Province, on December 21, 2023. Photo: VCG

A rescue personnel conducts cleaning at the relocation site in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Northwest China's Gansu Province, on December 21, 2023. Photo: VCG

Search and rescue efforts are drawing to a close in the aftermath of the devastating 6.2-magnitude Jishishan earthquake. The focus is now shifting to the treatment of the injured, resettlement, and debris removal across earthquake-stricken areas, emergency management authorities in Northwest China's Gansu Province said at Thursday morning's press briefing. 

Phased progress has been achieved in earthquake relief work, a local official said at the briefing. The death toll caused by the devastating earthquake that rattled Northwest China Monday night had reached 137 as of Thursday - 115 in Gansu Province and 22 in Qinghai Province. 

As of 6 am on Thursday, the housing authorities have organized engineering and technical experts to complete the preliminary inspection and assessment of kindergartens, schools, and hospitals in Jishishan county. The emergency assessment of all houses in 19 villages in two towns, which were the most severely affected, has been completed. Water and gas supplies in the county have been restored to normal, while heating has basically restored. The damaged pipe network is being repaired to restore normal heating in the county as soon as possible, according to an official at the press briefing.

Various regions across China, including North China's Tianjin, South China's Guangdong Province, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, East China's Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang provinces have provided disaster relief funds and extended assistance in terms of medical care, emergency rescue operations, and essential supplies, according to the briefing. 

Meanwhile, some regions have organized professional rescue, aviation rescue, and emergency communication support teams to provide assistance to the earthquake-stricken areas in personnel search and rescue, geological disaster inspection, aviation emergency rescue, and medical care services.

Under the guidance of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China, Gansu provincial housing and urban-rural authorities established an earthquake relief command headquarters, and initiated a Level II emergency earthquake response. The ministry has dispatched personnel to the affected areas to provide guidance for disaster relief, according to the local officials.

More than 500 specialists and technicians have been dispatched to the affected area to survey the damage to residential and facilities, conducting emergency assessments of building structures, and carrying out urgent repairs. 

Meanwhile, local hospitals have received a total of 784 injured people, and the health authorities are currently conducting psychological counseling for those impacted by the disaster. In addition to all county and village medical institutions operating normally, 19 more medical treatment points and a mobile hospital have been established to meet the medical needs of the people in the disaster-stricken areas.

Global Times