State agencies activate emergency response after 7.0-magnitude quake

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-09 15:00:20|Editor: Xiang Bo
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BEIJING, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's government agencies have responded quickly to the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck a remote area in southwest China's Sichuan Province Tuesday night, killing 13 and leaving 175 others injured as of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Feng Zhenglin, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), confirmed immediate activation of level-III emergency response procedures, asking civil aviation authorities to cooperate with local government in disaster relief.

The CAAC has instructed airports to keep track of available runways and gate positions while asking airlines to help with emergency evacuation of tourists in the disaster-hit area.

The Ministry of Transport has initiated level-II emergency response procedures and formed a leading group to guide local transportation authorities to aid the rescue.

Traffic on highways to the disaster-hit area is being monitored, with special lanes set aside for rescue vehicles travelling into the area.

The China Meteorological Administration has initiated enhanced weather forecasting in the area in order to prevent secondary disasters that could inhibit rescue work.

According to the National Meteorological Center, the quake zone in Jiuzhaigou County will experience cloudy weather from Wednesday night to Thursday, while light to moderate rain is expected on Friday.

Besides government agencies, more than 20 state-owned enterprises supervised by the central government have contributed to the rescue efforts.

The country's biggest telecommunications operators have set up emergency hotlines to help people locate their relatives while resources including tents, medical equipment and clean water are being delivered to the area.

The earthquake jolted Jiuzhaigou at 9:19 p.m. Tuesday, with the epicenter recorded at 33.2 degrees north latitude and 103.82 degrees east longitude. The quake struck at a depth of 20 km, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for all-out efforts to organize relief work and rescue the injured.

Premier Li Keqiang asked local authorities to increase relief and monitoring efforts.