157 dead and over 5,700 injured was the balance left by a powerful earthquake that hit yesterday the southwest China’s Sichuan province, nearly five years after the earthquake that devastated the region.
The quake -which according to the government had an intensity of 7 degrees- and 6.6 in the report of the Geological Survey of the United States, took place at the base of the Tibetan Plateau, when many people were in their homes, sleeping or having breakfast. About 10,000 homes were destroyed, according to the Sichuan government.
The Longmen village was particularly affected. Officials said that nearly all its buildings were destroyed by the quake, which lasted for a minute. The shallow depth of the epicenter, 13 km from the Earth’s surface, increased the impact.
Lushan had the highest number of victims, but there are fears that the death toll in the neighboring county of BaoXing may be higher, because the roads were blocked. The Chinese armed forces for the first time in an earthquake, have used drones (unmanned aircraft) to examine the remotest affected areas.