AAuthorities in Qinghai province said in recent hours that the death toll had risen from 18 in the previous count to 22, and that the number of injured had risen to 198, the official Xinhua news agency reported today.
The number of people in Gansu who lost their lives as a result of the earthquake, which occurred one minute before midnight local time on Monday (15:59, in Lisbon) on the border between the two provinces, with a magnitude of 6, 2, remains at 113.
The Gansu government reported at a press conference on Thursday that 784 injured people were receiving medical care in the province’s hospitals and that 19 temporary medical treatment stations and a mobile hospital had been set up in the areas most affected by the disaster.
Gansu Health Commission deputy director Bai Yuping said 21 medical teams were sent to the 35 most affected localities for home visits.
Nearly 30 mental health experts have been deployed to the region from other parts of China to provide assistance to the injured and the families of the dead, Bai Yuping said.
Gansu authorities said on Wednesday that the work to rescue survivors is “practically finished.”
In recent days, rescuers have been facing a cold snap with temperatures reaching minus 14 degrees Celsius, an obstacle made worse by the difficulties in accessing the rugged and mountainous terrain.
To face the disaster, authorities sent material, including 2,600 tents, 10,400 folding beds, 10,400 quilts and 1,000 stoves.
However, The Paper newspaper reported that there is a “severe shortage” of tents to house the displaced and that the cold temperatures are “a challenge that is hampering relief efforts.”
The earthquake damaged or caused the collapse of more than 155,000 homes and initially affected water, electricity, telecommunications and transport services.
The Chinese government and Ministry of Emergency Management declared a level II response to the disaster and 200 million yuan (about 25 million euros) was allocated for relief and recovery efforts.
Hours after the event, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged local authorities to “make every effort” to treat the injured, repair infrastructure and relocate those affected.
This is the deadliest earthquake in China since the one in August 2014 in Yunnan province, which killed 617 people, but a far cry from the one in 2008 in Sichuan province, which left at least 70,000 dead.
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