A 6.6 earthquake has struck China’s Sichuan Province, killing 186 and injured 11,000 people.
Reports say the 6.6 magnitude quake struck the city of Ya’an in Lushan county and followed by series of strong aftershocks.
The epicentre reportedly had a depth less than eight miles (13km).
Reports say the quake triggered landslides and flattened buildings. Roads are also blocked due to debris, boulders of rocks and landslides.
A major rescue operation is underway involving emergency services and six thousand Chinese troops to reach trapped and in need people in various communities across the region.
The Chinese government reportedly allocated 3 million yuan for rescue and relief efforts on Sunday to respond to the disaster.
Extraordinary stories of survival already emerging
According to media report, a mother was able to lift a 50kg concrete just to rescue her son from the rubble.
In one incident, a woman gave birth at a bike shelter hours the quake hit the region.
A TV footage also showed rescue workers pulling a baby alive from the rubble and the child’s mother.
US saddened by the loss of life
US Secretary of State John Kerry has issued statement expressing US’ sentiments and sincere condolences for the loss of life and devastation wrought by earthquake in Sichuan Province.
He says the United States stands ready to support the international response to this disaster.
“To those affected by this tragedy and to all the people of China, we send our heartfelt sympathies.” – Secretary Kerry
Remembering the 2008 Sichuan earthquake
The epicentre is close to the devastating quake in 2008 that killed nearly 70,000 people and left 4.8 million people homeless.
In May 12, 2008, a 7.9 maginitude earthquake struck Sichuan Province and aftershocks have been felt from Beijing, China to Bangkok, Thailand.
The 2008 quake is considered to be the most damaging earthquake since the 1976 Tangshan disaster.
China received a total of $125 million US from public donations.
The total cost of reconstruction aftermath the quake is indicated to be $10.14 billion.
Sichuan is a province in western China with its capital Chengdu. Sichuan has been prominently known as the “Province of Abundance.” It is one of the major agricultural production bases of China which provides the major production of grain, including rice and wheat, since 1999.
Chengdu, the provincial capital, is one of the most important economic centers and transportation and communication location in China. The capital is one of the production hubs for textiles and electronics products as well.