At least 12 dead, 134 hurt in China quake

Two Strong Earthquakes Hit Southwest China, At Least One Person Dead

The quakes, roughly 30 minutes apart, hit the southwestern province of Sichuan late on Monday, with shaking felt in key regional cities, such as the provincial capital of Chengdu and the metropolis of Chongqing.

The fatalities and injuries were all recorded in Changning and Gongxian counties, local officials said, according to Xinhua. Other images showed a woman being helped out of another collapsed structure. CCTV showed a landslide down a hill and onto a road.

While more than 4,400 people have been evacuated from the area, local news outlets reported most of the deaths were caused by damage to houses.

Images from Changning County showed an electricity pole knocked down on the roof of a building, a hole in a brick home andbroken windows on the street. Rescuers pulled six bodies and seven survivors from buildings, it added.

In the provincial capital Chengdu, an early warning system alerted the public about one minute before the quake struck. The alert rang 10 seconds before it hit Yibin.

Natural disaster research has found that being aware of an quake three seconds beforehand can save 14 percent of casualties, 10 seconds can save 39 percent of casualties and 20 seconds can save 63 percent of casualties.

The Yibin city government posted the casualty toll on its social media accounts Tuesday morning.

The Chinese Ministry of Emergency Management said hundreds of firefighters arrived early Tuesday and had rescued eight trapped people.

A quake of magnitude 5.9 was followed by a smaller one of 5.2 magnitude, both at a depth of 10km and centred near Changning county, the United States Geological Survey said.

Sichuan is regularly hit by earthquakes.

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