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Monday, Mar 27, 2023

Earthquake rocks China’s northwestern Xinjiang region

Earthquake rocks China’s northwestern Xinjiang region

A 6.1-magnitude-earthquake hit Shaya county of Aksu Prefecture in Northwest China’s Xinjiang region at 7:49 a.m. on Monday with its epicenter 50 kilometers deep, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.
Some residents in Aksu and adjacent prefectures reached by the Global Times on Monday said that they were woken up by the strong tremors. Videos uploaded online by some local residents showed ceiling lamps shaking during the event.

According to information from the local fire brigade, a team of 10 has been deployed to the epicenter region with 1,500 firefighters and 36 dogs remaining on standby.

The advance team has arrived at the Kasikan village — the nearest village to the epicenter and commenced search and rescue efforts.

The epicenter is 41 kilometers away from the Tarim Basin, with no villages or population centers within 20 kilometers of the epicenter.

No casualties or collapsed dwellings have been reported so far, local authorities in Aksu reported.

According to data from Aksu authorities, over five years, there were 218 earthquakes measuring above 3-magnitude within 200 kilometers to the epicenter and that Monday was the highest reading to date.

The telecommunication network, power supply and transportation in the Shaya county continue to operate normally.

The Xinjiang regional government has launched a third-level emergency response to the earthquake and dispatched people from transportation, telecommunication and public health departments to the epicenter.

The railway departments in places that can feel the tremor arranged thorough inspection of lineside bridges, tunnels, and other infrastructure, adding that some trains that were affected have returned to service.

Residents and travelers sought shelter after a strong earthquake rocked a remote part of northwestern China on Monday morning.

No injuries or major damage have been reported following the temblor that struck the Xinjiang region, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of people evacuating an airport departure hall and ceiling fixtures swaying as the ground rocked.

Ground crews were seen inspecting the airport’s exterior as the sun began to rise over the region’s Shaya county.

The China Earthquake Networks Center registered the quake at a preliminary magnitude of 6.1, while the US Geological Survey reported it as 5.7.

A vast, resource-rich region of mountains and deserts, Xinjiang is one of China’s most seismically volatile regions, though most quakes strike in sparsely inhabited areas outside major cities.

Investigators were checking on the epicenter but no disruptions had been reported to the local power grid, oil and gas production or petrochemical industries, Xinhua said.

China’s deadliest recent earthquake was magnitude 7.9 that struck Sichuan province, south of Xinjiang, in 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people.

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