Heavy rains and thunderstorms hampered rescuers’ work after an earthquake measuring 6.5 on Richter scale rattled China’s Yunnan province killing hundreds, injuring thousands and leaving thousands of others homeless and waiting to be relocated.
The emergency alert from the earthquake has been upgraded to the highest level, said the reports.
The death toll as on Sunday morning was 381(302 in Ludian, 66 in Qiaojia County, 12 in Huize County, 1 in Zhaoyang District), reported the Xinhua.
President Xi Jinping has called for an “all-out effort” for saving people’s lives first and has dispatched thousands of troops to the disaster-hit region.
Also, two military helicopters and two cargo planes are on their way to the quake zone.
Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived at Longtoushan, epicenter of deadly quake in China’s Yunnan Province, on foot after walking over 5 km to assess and instruct the relief work, a Xinhua tweet informed.
At the quake site, 7000 rescuers including 5,000 soldiers, police officers, and firefighters are busy helping the injured move out of the rubble even as they battle heavy downpour and landslides.
What further threatens the rescue work is the fact that numerous aftershocks have been hitting the area since the 6.5 quake. Also, moderate quakes of intensity as high as 5 to 6 on the Richter scale are expected to hit the region, reported the Xinhua citing local seismic experts. To add to the trouble, thundershowers and heavy rains might hit Ludian in next four day where alone, more than 300 people have lost their lives to the quake.
The rescue work is proving to be a herculean task due to rain-triggered mudslides, collapsing houses, and the rising number of the so-called “earthquake lakes” which are the areas filling with water in the aftermath of the quake.