Strong Quake Hits Locked-Down Chinese City

At least 46 killed in Sichuan province quake
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2022 1:55 PM CDT
Strong Quake Hits Locked-Down Chinese City
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, rescuers carry a villager across a river following an earthquake in Moxi Town of Luding County, southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday, Sept. 5, 2022.   (Cheng Xueli/Xinhua via AP)

A strong quake hit China's Sichuan province Monday, killing dozens of people and shaking buildings in the province's capital, Chengdu, where 21 million people have been under a COVID lockdown since Friday. Residents said they saw people running out of buildings after receiving earthquake alerts on their phones, the BBC reports. "Some of my neighbors on the ground floor said they felt it very noticeably," a Chengdu resident told AFP. "But because Chengdu is currently under epidemic management, people aren't allowed to leave their residential compounds, so many of them rushed out into their courtyards."

Authorities say the 6.8 magnitude quake killed at least 46 people, and another 16 are missing, the AP reports. The epicenter was in a mountainous area in Luding county, around 125 miles from the capital. The quake triggered landslides and forced some power stations to shut down, authorities say. Three of the dead were workers at a glacier and forest nature reserve. After the Chengdu lockdown was brought in on Friday, residents complained that food deliveries were slow and missing and that a collapse in the system meant to test all 21 million residents daily left people waiting in line for hours, the New York Times reports.

At least 60 million people in cities across China are currently in full or partial lockdown, and public anger is growing in cities including Chengdu, where there has been an outpouring of support on social media for a man who was detained for spreading rumors about a lockdown two days before the measure was announced. "A lot of people are kicking up a fuss these days, saying they have been confined to their homes for a long time," a resident of Wuhan, where some people have been locked down for more than nine days, tells Radio Free Asia. "People still have mortgages to pay, and without a job, they don't have any money, so they are kicking up a fuss to get the lockdown lifted." (More China stories.)

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