As of April 22, it was reported that 188 people died, 11,460 were injured, and 25 were still missing resulted from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake taking place in Ya’an city of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, about 116 km fromChengdu, with Lushan County as the epicenter.
The earthquake happened at 08:02 Beijing time on April 20, and has caused serious damages: many people dead or missing or injured, old buildings collapsed, Water and electricity suspended, roads ruined and others. Nevertheless, the Ya’an earthquake is not expected to be as disastrous as the 8.0-magnitude 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
Medical staff and security personnel arrived at the affected areas to carry out the rescue work immediately aftermath of the earthquake. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang toured the stricken area and emphasized the importance of quick rescue within 72 hours. The Chengdu–Ya’an and Ya’an–Xichang sections of the G5 Beijing–Kunming Expressway were reserved exclusively for vehicles for relief work. Relief materials including food, sleeping bags, tents and other urgent supplies were continuously sent to the victims.
1967 aftershocks have been recorded. Chinese officials also warned of the possibility of potential secondary disasters, like landslides, mud-rock flows, and the collapse of buildings and riverbanks.
Ya’an is world-famous for its tea culture and the Bifengxia Panda Base, home to 62 giant pandas, most of which were relocated from Wolong National Nature Reserve following the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Luckily, the 62 giant pandas are confirmed to be safe in the Ya’an earthquake.