Thursday, April 15, 2010

Earthquake In Tibet

It's earthquake season. Yesterday, a powerful earthquake measuring at 7.1 at Richter scale rocked Qinghai province, China. The hardest hit area was Gyegu town near the epicenter in the Tibetan Autonomous Perfecture of Yushu in southern Qinghai.

The strong quake and a string of aftershocks, with the biggest one being 6.3 magnitude, have toppled houses, temples, gas stations and electric poles, triggered landslides, damaged roads, cut power supplies and disrupted telecommunications. A reservoir was also cracked, where workers are trying to prevent the outflow of water.

Gyegu, has a population of about 100,000, including permanent residents and migrant people. 80% of house which were mostly built from mudbricks and woods in Gyegu had collapsed and many are believed to be still trapped under the debris of collapsed buidlings.

More than 2000 members of rescue team are currently in the area to search for survivors but their efforst were daunted by high altitude. It is physically more demanding for rescuers to carry out their duties in this area where the oxygen level is nearly half or one third of that at sea level.

As of now, the death toll stands at 617.