Yunnan on guard after 5.2-magnitude quake

As of 2 am of May 3, a 4.4-magnitude aftershock occurred after the earthquake, the only one above a magnitude of 3.


Emergency rescue personnel inspect damaged houses and vehicles in Wayao on May 3, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

May 4, 2023

BEIJING – Authorities in Southwest China’s Yunnan province are carrying out a thorough check for potential geological risks to prevent secondary disasters after a 5.2-magnitude earthquake hit Wayao town in Baoshan’s Longyang district at 11:27 pm on Tuesday.

Ten were mildly injured in the earthquake, whose epicenter was about 347 km from Kunming, the province’s capital, and nine have been discharged from hospital as of 1 pm Wednesday, Central China Television reported.

The headquarters assured residents it will ensure adequate access to electricity, communication and traffic to restore local work and production as soon as possible.

As of 2 am on Wednesday, a 4.4-magnitude aftershock occurred after the earthquake, the only one above a magnitude of 3.

The earthquake damaged houses, water, electricity, traffic, communication and other infrastructure in and around the epicenter, Zhang Yunyi, deputy mayor of Baoshan, said at a news conference held Wednesday morning, as quoted by Xinhua News Agency.

Some sections of local expressways or highways have been sealed due to falling rocks, and cleanup work for the roads is underway.

A total of 2,805 houses in the towns of Wayao, Shuizhai and Banqiao were damaged. More than 11,000 residents have been transferred to safety.

Baoshan immediately activated a level-III emergency response and dispatched more than 2,400 rescuers to the disaster area.

Other cities in Yunnan, including Dali, Lincang, Chuxiong and Mangshi also felt tremors, according to a report by China Central Television.

After the shock in the evening, many residents in Baoshan chose to sleep in their cars or other places outside to avoid potential danger. Some tourists in Dali, a popular city for tourism, said they also felt the tremor.

Xifeng, an alias of a tourist who was on a self-driving tour in Yunnan, parked a recreational vehicle in Longyang district on Tuesday night.

“It felt like the car was being shaken with a lot of force,” Xifeng said. After getting out of the vehicle, he found other tourists were all outside in the parking lot. “We went back to sleep after we felt it was safe,” he said.

An aerial view of Wayao town in Longyang district, Baoshan, Yunnan province on May 3, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Emergency rescue personnel set up tents. [Photo/Xinhua]

Villagers buy fresh vegetables at a market. [Photo/Xinhua]

A building shows signs of damage after the earthquake. [Photo/Xinhua]

A hospital that was damaged by the earthquake. [Photo/Xinhua]

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