The death toll from the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck southwestern China rose to 65 as rescuers searched for victims and survivors into Tuesday.
Hundreds of other people were injured in the powerful quake that hit the province of Sichuan just after noon Monday.
The death toll will likely rise even higher. At least 16 additional people are still missing and tens of thousands are homeless following the earthquake and subsequent landslides, state media reported Tuesday.
The earthquake was felt throughout a mountainous area in Luding county in Sichuan, which is regularly hit by quakes due to its position on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau where tectonic plates meet.
The tremor shook buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu, home to 21 million residents, and knocked out power in several areas.
More than 50,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes after the buildings were made unsafe by the quake, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Officials said 37 people died in the historic town of Moxi in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Garze, 28 people died in the neighboring Shimian country.
Nearly 400 people in the two areas suffered injuries to varying degrees.
The tremor and resulting landslides also caused power outages throughout the area.
The quake is the latest hardship faced by residents of Sichuan. It follows a heat wave and drought that sparked water shortages and power cuts due to the province’s reliance on hydropower. It also comes as residents are locked down under China’s strict “zero COIVD” policy.
China’s deadliest earthquake was a 7.9 magnitude quake in 2008 that killed nearly 90,000 in the province. The horrific disaster pushed China to conduct a years-long effort to rebuild with more resistant materials.
With Post wires