A 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck China's Sichuan province on Monday is believed to have killed at least 21 people and caused landslides and building shaking in Chengdu, the provincial capital, where 21 million people are already under COVID-19 lockdown.
Soon after midday, the earthquake struck a mountainous region in Luding county, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.
Earthquakes frequently strike Sichuan, which is located where the Tibetan Plateau and tectonic plates collide. At least four people were killed in two quakes in June.
State broadcaster CCTV claimed that in addition to the fatalities, officials also received reports of rocks and mud falling from slope, damaging homes and disrupting power. A rural route was blocked by one landslide and was covered in rock strewn debris, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.
At a distance of 200 kilometers 125 miles, Chengdu experienced shaking in the buildings. Jiang Danli, a resident, claimed she spent five minutes hiding behind a desk in her flat on the 31st level. Fearing aftershocks, many of her neighbors hurried downstairs.
June saw a significant earthquake, but it wasn't particularly frightening. She told The Associated Press, "This time I was particularly worried because I live on a high floor and the shaking made me feel woozy.
Due to Sichuan's dependency on hydropower, a hot wave and drought that preceded the earthquake and shutdown caused water shortages and power outages. This comes after China's most recent significant lockdown in accordance with its rigorous zero-COVID policy.
According to Jiang, the last two months in Chengdu have been strange.
At a comparatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers, the U.S. Geological Survey measured a magnitude of 6.6 for the earthquake that occurred on Monday 6 miles. Different agencies' first measurements may vary somewhat.
A 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Sichuan in 2008 and killed nearly 90,000 people was the deadliest earthquake to strike China in recent memory. The earthquake outside Chengdu destroyed towns, schools, and rural settlements, sparking a years-long effort to rebuild with stronger materials.