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  • 1440 Daily Digest

China Quake Aftermath

The death toll from China's 6.2 magnitude earthquake has risen to more than 130 people with about 700 more injured, marking the country's deadliest earthquake since 2014. The quake struck China's mountainous northwestern region just before midnight local time Monday near the Gansu-Qinghai border at a depth of 6.2 miles. Despite being only a moderately strong seismic event—more than 100 earthquakes between 6.0 and 7.0 occur globally each year—shallow quakes tend to be more damaging than deeper ones.

Officials expect the death toll to increase as rescuers and survivors face ice-covered mountainous terrain and subzero temperatures—overnight temperatures Tuesday dropped to as low as -8.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The quake—described as a 5.9 magnitude quake by the US Geological Survey (see why it's different here)—caused severe damage to houses, roads, and power lines in the remote region, one of China's poorest and least accessible provinces.

Gansu has a population of nearly 26 million and sits just east of the tectonically active Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. At least nine aftershocks have been recorded. See photos here.

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