Breaking News of the moment comes from China where a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.6 on the Richter scale struck the southwestern China’s Sichuan province on Saturday morning killing at least 30 people and leaving more than 100 people injured.
According to the USGC data, the earthquake occurred at 8.02 a.m. local time (0002 GMT) in Lushan county near Ya’an city and the epicenter had a depth of 12 km (7.5 miles).
After this strong earthquake, numerous aftershocks jolted the area, the largest of which was of magnitude 5.1.
State news agency Xinhua said 2,000 troops were heading to the area to help in the rescue efforts. State television CCTV said only emergency vehicles were being allowed into Ya’an, though Chengdu airport was reopened.
Ya’an is a city of 1.5 million it is considered one of the birthplaces of Chinese tea culture and the home to one of China’s main centers for protecting the giant panda.
The USGS also noted that “significant” casualties were likely and that “extensive damage is probable and disaster is likely widespread”.
The city is very close to the place where a similar strong earthquake in 2008 had taken lives of almost 70,000 people.