Rescue Efforts Underway as China Earthquake Toll Rises

    Rescue Efforts Underway as China Earthquake Toll Rises
    Last updated: 2 months ago
    Image credit: AP [via CBS News]


    • A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit China's southwestern Sichuan province on Mon., leaving at least 66 people dead. The quake was felt 125 miles away from the province's capital, Chengdu, where many of the city's 21M residents are locked down under stringent COVID protocols. [1]
    • China's president, Xi Jinping, ordered full government resources to support rescue efforts. The quake also damaged communications in remote, isolated areas. [2]
    • Beijing deployed more than 6,500 rescue workers, including firefighters and armed police as well as four helicopters and two drones. [3]
    • The death toll is likely to rise, as tens of thousands are homeless following the quake and the subsequent landslides. [4]
    • Sichuan is a landlocked area prone to earthquakes because of the Langmenshan Fault that runs through the mountainous region. The area has endured a severe drought and its worst heatwaves in 60 years. [5]
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    Anti-China narrative

    Despite the swift actions of first responders, it's highly concerning that residents of Chengdu were prevented from going outside during the earthquake because of draconian COVID lockdowns. These measures ultimately posed a risk to safety in this disaster when time was of the essence.

    Pro-China narrative

    China is extraordinarily effective in mounting a coordinated response, including for this emergency. Whether it's COVID, floods, fires, or earthquakes, the PRC maintains robust disaster response capabilities. Residents have been told to make safe evacuations and with appropriate COVID protections in the event of aftershocks or other events.

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