China launches emergency response to Xinjiang quake

Updated 2017-05-11 17:00:52 Xinhua
Residents receive treatment at Kuzigun Village in Taxkorgan County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, May 11, 2017.  (Xinhua/Li Jing)

Residents receive treatment at Kuzigun Village in Taxkorgan County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, May 11, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Jing)

China has activated emergency response procedures following a 5.5-magnitude earthquake in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region early Thursday morning.

The China Earthquake Administration activated level-III emergency response procedures earlier Thursday, and said it would send a work team to help with relief work. It added that all departments concerned are on high alert, and they will continue to monitor for aftershocks and evaluate damage.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs and the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction have also initiated grade-IV emergency response measures. They have sent teams to assist relief work and settlement of those displaced by the earthquake.

A grade-IV response, the lowest in China's emergency response system, means a 24-hour alert, daily damage reports, and the allocation of money and relief materials within 48 hours.

Eight fatalities have been confirmed and 23 injured after the earthquake in Taxkorgan County, Xinjiang, at 5:58 a.m. Thursday. It also led to serious damage or the collapse of 1,520 houses.

Taxkorgan, some 1,250 kilometers from Urumqi, capital of the region, borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

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