The government earthquake monitoring center said the quake registered magnitude 6.2 and hit Sunday evening. It said it was centered 282 kilometers (175 miles) southeast of the oasis city of Hotan. The area is deep in the thinly populated Kunlun mountains.
Strong earthquake reported in remote area of far-western China
By Associated Press, Sunday, August 12, 6:22 AM
There were no initial reports of damage or injuries from the quake. However, its depth was measured at a relatively shallow 30 kilometers (19 miles), increasing the likelihood of damage.
The region along the edge of the Himalayan Plateau is one of China’s most seismically active.
Residents describe terror of Iran quake, 250 die
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Residents of the zone in northwestern Iran hit by powerful twin earthquakes described moments of terror and panic with birds crowing loudly in warning seconds before the ground shook. As the death toll rose Sunday to more than 250 with entire villages leveled, rescuers called off searches for survivors and turned their attention to caring for the 16,000 people left homeless.
At least 20 villages were totally destroyed in the quakes on Saturday that were followed by some 36 aftershocks, state television reported. Ahmad Reza Shajiei, a senior government official in charge of rescue operations, said more than 5,000 tents have been set up to shelter the thousands of displaced who spent the night outdoors.
‘‘The moment the earthquake hit, it was like a snake biting from underground. It was the worst experience of my life,’’ said resident Morteza Javid, 47, from Ahar.
‘‘The walls were shaking and moving from side to side. It took about a minute before I could run out of the house,’’ he said. ‘‘Seconds before the earthquake, crows were making a lot of noise, but I didn’t understand why. It was only after the quake that I learned the crows were warning us.’’ Javid said he drove more than a dozen injured people to hospitals during the night.
State television said at least 250 died. The semiofficial Mehr news agency quoted a local official who put the toll at 277. State TV said 44,000 food packages and thousands of blankets have been distributed in the stricken area.
In Washington, the White House press secretary sent a message of sympathy for the victims.
‘‘Our thoughts are with the families of those who were lost, and we wish the wounded a speedy recovery,’’ it said.’’ We stand ready to offer assistance in this difficult time.’’
The U.S. and Iran are locked in a bitter fight over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program, which the West suspect is aimed at producing weapons. Iran denies the allegation.
The U.N. also issued a message of sympathy and offered aid.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that Saturday’s first quake was magnitude 6.4 and struck 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of the city of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9 kilometers (6.2 miles). State TV quoted local Crisis Committee chief Khalil Saei as saying the epicenter was a region between the towns of Ahar and Haris, about 600 kilometers (350 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran.
The second quake was a magnitude 6.3 and struck 11 minutes later, the USGS reported. Its epicenter was 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Tabriz at a depth of 9.8 kilometers (6.1 miles).
The quakes hit the towns of Ahar, Haris and Varzaqan in East Azerbaijan province, state television reported. In addition to 20 villages destroyed, more than 130 others sustained heavy damage, state TV said.
The aftershocks were felt in a wide region near the Caspian Sea, causing panic among the people.
Two earthquakes in Iran kill 300 and injure 5,000
August 12, 2012
Overcrowded hospitals in northwest Iran struggled to cope with thousands of earthquake victims on Sunday and rescuers raced to reach remote villages after two powerful quakes killed nearly 300 people.
Thousands huddled in makeshift camps or slept in the street after Saturday’s quakes in fear of more aftershocks, 60 of which had already struck. A lack of tents and other supplies left them exposed to the night chill, one witness told Reuters.
“I saw some people whose entire home was destroyed, and all their livestock killed,” Tahir Sadati, a local photographer, said by telephone. “People need help, they need warm clothes, more tents, blankets and bread.”
Strong quake jolts western China
By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, August 12, 2012 11:55 EDT
BEIJING — A shallow 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook a remote area of China’s western region of Xinjiang, near the border with Tibet, on Sunday, the US Geological Survey said.
It was not immediately clear if there was any damage or casualties and rescue teams had been rushed to the mountainous quake zone to assess the situation, a local official told AFP.
The quake’s epicentre, at a depth of nine kilometres (5.6 miles), was about 280 kilometres east of Hotan town, USGS said. It struck at 6:45 pm (1045 GMT).
The China Earthquake Networks Centre measured it at 6.2-magnitude and put it at a deeper 30 kilometres, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
“A rescue team and other officials are now on the way to the earthquake zone, which is in a mountainous area,” an official with the emergency office of Yutian county — also known as Keriya — told AFP.
“As of now, we haven’t received any news.”
The county is on the southern edge of China’s vast Taklimakan desert.
On Saturday, a quake measuring 5.3 hit Xinjiang, about 188 km from the town of Shache, according to the USGS.
Xinjiang is a vast region with a population of around 20 million, of whom some nine million are Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking, mainly Muslim ethnic minority.
6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes remote region of China: fourth major quake to rattle the planet in 3 days
August 12, 2012 – CHINA – A shallow 6.3-magnitude earthquake rattled western China Sunday on the border between Xinjiang and Tibet, the US Geological Survey said. The quake’s epicentre, at a shallow depth of nine kilometres (5.6 miles), was in a remote area of the border region some 280 kilometres east of Hotan town, the USGS said. The quake struck at around 6:45 pm (1045 GMT) and there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The China Earthquake Networks Centre measured it as a 6.2-magnitude quake, the state-run Xinhua news agency said. A similar 6.3-magnitude quake jolted Xinjiang on June 30, injuring at least 24 people, according to state media. Xinjiang is a vast region with a population of around 20 million, of whom some nine million are Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking, mainly Muslim ethnic minority.
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