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Quake-hit areas in China resume school

Updated: May 25,2021 08:57    Xinhua

XINING — Elementary and high schools resumed classes on May 24 after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Northwest China's Qinghai province on early May 22.

The earthquake, which jolted Maduo county of the Golog Tibetan autonomous prefecture at 2:04 am May 22, has left 18 injured and disrupted the lives of over 32,000 residents from 26 townships in Golog and the Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, authorities said on May 24.

Among the injured, 17 had been treated and discharged from hospital by 8 am May 24, said Li Jun, an official with the provincial department of emergency management, at a press conference.

One victim remains in hospital and is receiving treatment.

The earthquake occurred in sparsely populated pastoral areas, where brick and wood bungalows are mostly scattered, rescuers said.

The rescue work is almost complete, and the relief work is underway, the task force sent by the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM) said.

Hou Jiansheng, a member of the team, said an earthquake with a magnitude higher than 7.4 is unlikely, but a 6 magnitude is possible in the area.

Power and water supplies are available at makeshift shelters.

The central and provincial governments have allocated 69 million yuan ($10.7 million) for earthquake relief, and distributed materials including coal and heating devices.

Traffic on all major roads leading to the affected area has resumed as of morning on May 24, according to the provincial department of transport.

Dou Xiaoyan, director of the provincial ecological and environmental monitoring center, said the local ecology and environment are relatively stable, with no abrupt environmental incidents triggered by the quake.

Located in the source area of the Yellow River, China's second-largest waterway, Maduo county is of important ecological value on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Also, on May 24, senior high school students in graduating classes resumed school in Yangbi county, Southwest China's Yunnan province. Those of other grades will resume class gradually, according to the county's education and sports bureau. The water supply of the quake-hit area also resumed.

Several hours before the Qinghai quake, four earthquakes with a magnitude of more than 5.0 struck Yangbi from 9 pm to 11 pm on May 23.

Three people were killed and dozens injured in the quakes so far.

Zhang Shiwei, Party chief of Yangbi county, said the county activated an emergency response after several minor quakes occurred from May 18 and evacuated residents immediately after the 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurred, which helped reduce the casualties.

The better quality of houses in the rural area, an outcome of the local poverty alleviation efforts, was another reason for the smaller death toll, Zhang added.

A total of ten task forces from different central government bodies, including the MEM and the Ministry of Natural Resources, were dispatched to Yunnan and Qinghai to help with disaster relief.