Deadly 6.2 magnitude earthquake in China’s Gansu, Qinghai kills 118

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck a remote, mountainous region on the northern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau just before midnight on Monday, killing at least 118 people and injuring hundreds in China’s Gansu and Qinghai provinces, according to state media.

The earthquake, which occurred at 11:59 p.m. local time (1559 GMT), prompted a swift emergency response amid challenging conditions, including subzero temperatures and a recent cold wave affecting much of China. The quake caused extensive damage to roads and infrastructure, triggered landslides, and partially buried a village in silt.

Western provinces like Gansu, on the eastern boundary of the tectonically active Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, are prone to earthquakes. China’s most devastating recent earthquake was a magnitude 8.0 in Sichuan in 2008, killing nearly 70,000 people.

The China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) reported that the epicenter of the latest quake was in Jishishan county, Gansu, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), just 5 kilometers from the border with neighboring Qinghai province.

In Gansu, provincial authorities reported 105 deaths as of 7:50 a.m. Tuesday (2350 GMT Monday) and 397 injured, with 16 in critical condition, at a news conference. Qinghai’s death toll rose to at least 13, with 182 injured.

Twenty people are officially missing.

Over 2,200 personnel from Gansu’s fire department, 900 from the forest brigade, and 260 emergency rescue workers have been dispatched. Additionally, hundreds from the military and police are involved in the rescue efforts.

Gansu province has allocated 20 million yuan ($2.8 million) for emergency response and sent supplies including 2,600 cotton tents, 10,400 folding beds, quilts, cotton mattresses, and 1,000 sets of stoves.