Beijing, July 22: Western China was hit by a strong earthquake, killing 11 people and injuring about 81, as per the local government. It hit a moderately populated region, causing damage majorly in Gansu province which is dominated by mountains, pasture lands, and deserts. The population here is 26 million.
In a statement posted by the provincial government on its microblog, it is clear that the deaths and the injuries were maximum in the Min County and other rural southern parts of Dingxi municipality.
The Chinese government's earthquake monitoring center said that the initial quake was at 7.45am (23:45 GMT, Sunday) with a magnitude of 6.6 and subsequent tremors included a magnitude of 5.6.
Although the quake was shallow, it could have been more destructive. The center said it struck about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) beneath the surface, whereas the Gansu provincial earthquake administration said that it was just 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) deep.
The intensity of the quakes can be determined by the descriptions of the residents here.
"You could see the chandeliers wobble and the windows vibrating and making noise, but there aren't any cracks in the walls. All the shop assistants poured out onto the streets when the shaking began," said a clerk at the Wuyang Hotel in the Zhang County seat, which is located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the epicenter.
China's worst earthquake struck the southwestern province of Sichuan in 2008, with a 7.9-magnitude temblor that left 90,000 people dead or missing.