The death toll from a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in China’s western Gansu province on Monday more than doubled to 54 people, the municipal government said, with hundreds injured as many homes in affected areas collapsed, Reuters reports.
The quake hit Minxian and Zhangxian counties, about 170 km southeast of the provincial capital of Lanzhou, at 7.45 on Monday morning, the official Xinhua news agency said.
It put the number of people seriously injured at 296. Earlier reports by the official Xinhua news agency said 22 people had died.
Eight towns in the remote, mountainous area sustained serious damage in the quake and subsequent flooding and mudslides, state media said.
There were also power outages, while cell phone and Internet coverage was disrupted, residents and state media reported.
Heavy rain is also forecast for the areas hit by the quake, which officials fear would compound the damage by causing more landslides and flooding.
A second 5.6 earthquake struck the same region about 90 minutes after the first, Xinhua said, the most significant of several aftershocks. The United States Geological Survey said the first quake had a magnitude of 5.9.