Death toll from earthquake in southwestern China rises to 93

Rescuers lining a temporary bridge in the aftermath of an earthquake
Rescuers deliver supplies via a temporary bridge in the aftermath of an earthquake in southwestern China’s Sichuan province.
(Shen Bohan / Xinhua News Agency)
Share via

The death toll from a major earthquake in western China rose to 93 as the search for survivors continued, authorities said.

A magnitude 6.8 quake hit Sichuan province last week, with much of the damage concentrated in Ganze Tibetan Autonomous Region in the province.

An additional 25 people remain missing as of Sunday evening, rescuers said, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. The search for survivors and recovery of bodies were complicated by heavy rains and the risks of landslides, which forced some residents to move to temporary shelters.


The earthquake also affected Chengdu, the provincial capital, where residents were under strict COVID controls, barred from leaving their buildings. Video online showed residents banging at metal gates at the front of apartment complexes as they sought to leave their buildings.

An analysis of death certificates from January to April showed COVID-19 deaths were nine times those caused by motor vehicles and more than five times the rate for flu and pneumonia.

Sept. 9, 2022

Tens of millions of people remain under China’s extensive restrictions in pursuit of its “zero-COVID” policy. Chengdu’s government announced that a few districts where there had been no new coronavirus cases would be allowed to reopen Monday.

However, many of its 21 million residents remain under lockdown. The city reported just 143 cases of coronavirus infection Monday, more than half of which were in people who did not show symptoms.

China has stuck to its massive system of lockdowns and mass testing even as the rest of the world has loosened restrictions. The country’s approach has minimized deaths but has kept millions of people locked in their homes for weeks or even months at a time.