Groups of villagers in Jinggu county, Yunnan province were reduced to living in makeshift shelters as they waited for relief supplies from the government yesterday, a day after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck the area and destroyed thousands of homes.
Villagers flocked to vegetable sheds and sought cover under propped-up umbrellas and blankets as they waited for government-issued tents and other relief supplies.
The quake hit just before 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday with a focal depth of five kilometers. The epicenter was monitored in Jinggu county, where over 7,000 buildings were destroyed and 13,000 more damaged. By Wednesday, nearly half of the 124,000 people affected had been evacuated.
In a written instruction issued yesterday, President Xi Jinping urged armed forces to join quake relief work as soon as possible.
The official death toll from the earthquake stands at just one person. Huang Fugang, director of the provincial seismological administration, has attributed the low casualty count to the prevalence of wood-framed homes in the area which are able to better withstand earthquakes.
This is the second strong earthquake to hit Yunnan province in the past couple of months. A 6.5-magnitude quake shook Ludian county on August 3, killing over 600 people and devastating the surrounding area.