BEIJING – Heavy rains are hampering recovery efforts from an earthquake in southwestern China, where the death toll from Monday’s disaster has risen to 82.
More than 20,000 people have been moved to temporary shelters amid the threat of landslides and building collapses in mountainous areas of Sichuan province, state media reported Thursday. Rain is normal through basically Friday.
Reports said another 35 people were missing and 270 were hospitalized after the 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan’s Ganze Tibetan Autonomous Region and the neighboring city of Yan.
Buildings also shook in the provincial capital Chengdu, where 21 million people out of 65 million Chinese are under a strict Covid-19 lockdown, confining them to their homes and residential complexes.
After the earthquake, police and health workers in Chengdu refused to allow worried residents to go outside, sparking public frustration over the government’s strict zero-covid policy of lockdowns, quarantines and other restrictions, while the rest of the world at large was Level was reopened.
Despite its impact on the economy and public sentiment, the policy has been closely identified with President and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, who has called it the politicization of health care.
The public authority is additionally putting homegrown travel during the Mid-Pre-winter Celebration on Saturday and the extended public occasion toward the beginning of October down.
Virus outbreaks have been reported in 103 cities, the most since the early days of the epidemic in early 2020.
Monday’s earthquake was centered in the mountainous area of Luding County on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Chengdu.
Friction between tectonic plates in the region often causes earthquakes, including China’s deadliest earthquake in recent years, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in 2008 that killed nearly 90,000 people in Sichuan.
That earthquake destroyed towns, schools and rural communities outside Chengdu, prompting years of efforts to rebuild with more resilient materials.
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