A strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake jolted China's Gansu and neighbouring Qinghai provinces leaving at least 111 people dead, Xinhua reported citing local earthquake relief headquarters.
The strong tremors were felt in an enthnic county in northwest China's Gansu province at around midnight on Monday. Around 200 people were also injured in the earthquake, in addition to the death toll, according to the New York Times who cited Chinese state media.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for comprehensive search and rescue operations and appropriate support for those impacted to safeguard lives and property in response to the situation.
According to the Global Times, Xi has given significant guidance, calling for comprehensive search and rescue operations, appropriate relocation of impacted individuals, and utmost measures to safeguard the lives and property of the people.
The earthquake relief headquarters of the State Council and the Ministry of Emergency Management have elevated the national earthquake emergency response to Level II.
Xinhua, citing the China Earthquake Networks Center, stated that the earthquake occurred at 11:59 p.m. (local time) on Monday with a focal depth of 10 km.
The epicenter of Liugou Township is approximately 8 km away from the county seat of Jishishan Bao'an, which is located in Dongxiang, Sala Autonomous County within the Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu.
The earthquake resulted in houses, roads, and other infrastructure being damaged, according to the witnesses. Power outages and water disruptions have affected multiple villages.
Xinhua further cited local meteorological authorities in reporting that the lowest temperature in Jishishan is expected to drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.
The regional fire and rescue department has dispatched 580 responders, supported by 88 fire trucks, 12 search and rescue canines, and over 10,000 sets of gear, to the location of the disaster.
Hu Changsheng, Party chief of Gansu, and Ren Zhenhe, governor of Gansu, have rushed to the disaster area to command rescue and relief.
The railway administration has halted both passenger and freight trains that travel through the area affected by the earthquake. Xinhua stated that they have also instructed a thorough inspection of the railway tracks for safety.