7.1-magnitude quake hits northwest China's Xinjiang

7.1-magnitude quake hits northwest China's Xinjiang
Photo credit: assicuraci.it

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake jolted Wushi County in Aksu Prefecture in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at 2:09 a.m. Tuesday (Beijing Time), according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC), Xinhua reported.

The epicenter, with a depth of 22 km, was monitored at 41.26 degrees north latitude and 78.63 degrees east longitude, said the CENC.

The main quake was followed by a succession of aftershocks as strong as 5.3 in magnitude, according to the CENC.

Preliminary report indicates that the epicenter was situated in a township in Wushi County within the mountainous border area between China and Kyrgyzstan.

According to the Xinjiang Earthquake Agency, the epicenter is approximately 50 km from the county seat of Wushi, with five villages located within a 20-kilometer radius around the epicenter.

As of 3 a.m. Tuesday, two residential houses and livestock sheds collapsed in the epicenter, and no casualties had been reported. Parts of the area had experienced temporary disruption of electricity supply shortly after the quake. But the supply had been gradually restored.

The quakes were felt strongly in the Aksu area. A local resident surnamed Liu told Xinhua that many people rushed to open space for safety, in spite of around 10 degrees below zero in wee hours.

The earthquake was also felt in various cities and prefectures across Xinjiang, including Urumqi, Hotan, and Kashgar. Residents in the regional capital Urumqi reported feeling the shaking even on the 17th floor.

Cao Yanglong, on a business trip in Aksu, said that during the earthquake, he was staying on the 21st floor of a hotel. The intensity was so strong that he described feeling like he was "going to be shaken out of bed."

Following the earthquake, the Wushi County fire and rescue brigade promptly dispatched an advance team of 10 people to the epicenter area. Also, the Aksu prefecture fire and rescue detachment mobilized 60 people to reach the epicenter.

A total of 182 vehicles, 800 people, and 32 dogs have been put on stand-by, ready for the disaster relief mission, according to the Xinjiang regional fire and rescue department.

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