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Damage caused by the earthquake in Lushan county, Yaan city, in the Chinese province of Sichuan. Photo: Weibo

Four dead as twin quakes shake Chinese city, epicentre of deadly 2013 shock

  • Two quakes three minutes apart hit area in Sichuan province where 196 people lost their lives in April 2013
  • Beijing orders third-highest alert level in national four-tier system as four reported dead and 14 others injured
Four people have died after China’s southwestern Sichuan province was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake and another less powerful jolt minutes later – in the same area where a huge quake nine years ago left nearly 200 people dead.

Beijing has ordered a Level 3 emergency response, the third-highest in China’s four-tier system, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Wednesday’s first quake occurred at 5pm at a depth of 17km (10.5 miles), its epicentre 113km from the provincial capital of Chengdu, the China Earthquake Networks Centre said. Three minutes later a second 4.5 magnitude quake was reported a few kilometres away.

Yaan, the city closest to the earthquake, reported four deaths and 14 injuries as of 7.40pm– all in Baoxing county.


6.1-magnitude earthquake hits Lushan in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan

6.1-magnitude earthquake hits Lushan in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan

In April 2013, the neighbouring county of Lushan was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that left 196 people dead and injured nearly 11,500 others.

Yaan was also affected by the devastating 2008 Wenchuan quake, which occurred along the same fault line.

Video footage and pictures posted online by local residents showed damage to the walls of some houses, and people running out into open areas.

People near Lushan county watch a quake-triggered landslide. Photo: Weibo

A restaurant owner in Lushan surnamed Fu told the Post that he felt at least two or three series of jolts.

“[The tremors] were very strong, and I ran out quickly. Now everyone is camping out in the open,” he said. He said some of the restaurant’s furniture had been damaged and he had no plans to reopen for the night.

A 4,500-strong local rescue team comprising armed police, firefighters, police and healthcare workers has been rushed to the earthquake zone.