BEIJING: One million people affected by a major earthquake in southwest China's Yunnan province are in desperate need of food and supplies, but rescuers have been forced to travel by horseback due to badly damaged roads, officials said yesterday.
The deadly 6.2 Richter-scale tremor which happened late on Monday killed at least 16 people and injured about 300 others according to the latest tally, a Yunnan seismological bureau official said.
Dayao county, located some 180km from the Yunnan capital Kunming, is the worst-affected county, with the epicentre of the quake located in Tanhua town, where nine were confirmed dead and 38 Injured.
China's ministry of civil affairs said altogether one million people have been affected in 10 counties and 70 towns. It estimated the direct economic loss to be around 620mil yuan (RM283mil).
The quake caused 18,000 rooms to collapse and damaged 328,000 other rooms, including 69 schools, while also wrecking hospitals and reservoirs, the ministry said on its website.
Landslides caused by the quake, heavy rain, the mountainous terrain as well as hundreds of aftershocks have seriously impeded rescue efforts, officials said.
The most seriously-affected areas are mountainous areas. The traffic situation is very poor. It's hard for vehicles to pass through, the ministry said.
Relief supplies could only make their way to the quake victims living in the most remote areas by men and horses, the official Xinhua news agency said. AFP
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