After Floods, China Hit Again By Catastrophe, Double Earthquake Kills 89, Death Tally Could Still Rise (PHOTOS)

  on July 23 2013 12:54 PM

Still reeling from the devastating floods in June, China has been struck again with another catastrophe. On Monday, China's western Gansu province was hit by two earthquakes, killing 89 and injuring more than 500 people. Authorities feared the death toll could go up as about 1,200 buildings had collapsed and tens of thousands more badly damaged.

The two earthquakes, the first a 5.9 magnitude and a strong aftershock that's equally as strong at 5.6 magnitude an hour and a half later, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, hit eight towns in the remote and mountainous Minxian and Zhangxian counties.

"Many have been injured by collapsed houses," a Minxian county doctor surnamed Du was quoted by the Xinhua news agency. "Many villagers have gone to local hospitals along the roads."

Government had sent in about 3,000 police and personnel to facilitate the necessary relief and rescue operations.

The government of Dingxi city, the worst-affected area, said more than 27,000 people have been left homeless by the twin quakes.

"I saw the bulb hanging from the ceiling start swinging wildly around. I woke my two friends and we ran into the bathroom to hide," arts student Li Jingui told Canadian Press. Li happened to be on the fourth floor of a school dormitory in Dingxi when the quake began to strike.

"After the strongest tremors were over, we were worried that there would be aftershocks so we packed our stuff and ran out into a large clearing," Li said.

According to the Dingxi government website, about 2,000 homes were either destroyed or heavily damaged. Some 14,066 households are currently without power. Five county and township roads had been cut.

Photos of the chaos at the slideshow.

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