The earthquake hit Sichuan province, including its capital, Chengdu. The city’s twenty-one million residents are currently under lockdown due to the spread of the covid-19 disease. According to the AP agency, anger is growing in Chengdu due to uncompromising covid measures. After a 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook houses in the city after noon on Monday, police and medical workers barred terrified residents from leaving the closed buildings.
Reuters reported that in the last day, Chengdu recorded 121 new cases of infection with the coronavirus. Chinese authorities continue to enforce a zero-tolerance policy on the coronavirus, ordering strict lockdowns as soon as the first few cases of infection appear. A total of 65 million people in 33 cities are now under some form of lockdown in China, writes the AP agency.
Monday’s earthquake had its epicenter in Luting County, where infrastructure and a large number of buildings were severely damaged. Electricity, drinking water and telecommunication connections have still not been restored in many places. On Tuesday, rescue workers evacuated 11,000 people from Lu-ting and the surrounding area. Today, it was possible to reopen the roads leading to the area, Reuters wrote.
During the night of today, seismologists recorded an aftershock of magnitude 3.0 near the epicenter of Monday’s earthquake. Meteorologists also warned that heavy rain is expected in the area until Friday.
Monday’s tremors were the strongest earthquake to hit Sichuan province since 2017. The most devastating earthquake in recent memory hit Sichuan in May 2008, a magnitude 7.9 tremor that killed nearly 90,000 people.