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Taiwan willing to help after Sichuan natural disaster

Taiwan willing to help after Sichuan natural disaster

A powerful natural disaster struck a remote, mountainous part of southwestern China's Sichuan province, killing at least 19 people - including six tourists.

The epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude quake hit Jiuzhaigou county, a popular destination for both Chinese and foreign tourists, leaving many visitors stranded in Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve overnight.

The dead included eight tourists, two residents and nine whose identities have yet to be confirmed, state television said.

In July, 63 people were killed by landslides and floods in the central province of Hunan. In 2013, a 7.0-magnitude quake hit Lushan, killing 196.

The agency said it was offering alternative itineraries to people who have booked trips to Jiuzhaigou, including one group that is slated to leave Singapore tomorrow.

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The US Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 6.5, striking at a shallow depth of just 9 kilometres (5.5 miles).

Jiuzhaigou is an area populated largely by ethnic Tibetans and Qiang people. The epicenter was about 39 kilometers (24 miles) from the county of Jiuzhaigou, which has a population of around 80,000, and was 285 kilometers (177 miles) from Chengdu, the densely populated capital of Sichuan province, reported AP.

China's National Commission for Disaster Reduction estimated that as many as 100 people may have perished, based on past census data of the sparsely populated region, and that tens of thousands of homes may have been damaged. Authorities on Wednesday recovered the body of the last missing person.

The agency said more than 30,000 tourists at Jiuzhaigou, or Jiuzhai Valley, were relocated to safety with help from tourist buses and private vehicles. Among other damage, the tremors caused houses near the park's entrance to collapse.

Firefighters stand to attention in Longnan, in China's Gansu province on August 8, 2017, as they prepare to head to Wenxian county after an quake centered in neighboring Sichuan province.


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