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Sichuan earthquake: China lowers emergency response procedures

(People's Daily Online)    14:56, August 09, 2017

Tourists wait for rescue at the parking lot of the InterContinental Resort Jiuzhai Paradise in quake-hit Jiuzhaigou County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Aug. 9, 2017. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Jiuzhaigou Tuesday night. (Xinhua/Fan Peishen)

A magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck Jiuzhaigou County in Sichuan province at 9:19 pm on Tuesday. The China Earthquake Administration (CEA) and the Sichuan provincial government activated the highest level emergency response procedures following the quake.

However, China's State Council Earthquake Relief Headquarters lowered the emergency response from the highest level to Level II at 12:24 am Wednesday morning, based on a comprehensive evaluation of the quake.

Jiang Haikun, director of the Monitoring and Predication Department at CEA, explained that the initial response was based on the magnitude of the quake. The death toll for a Level I response must be 300 or more, which is far more than the number of people who have been killed by the Jiuzhaigou quake.

Earthquakes measuring around 6-magnitude are possible in the coming days. Experts called for people to take precautions from possible strong aftershocks.

As of 9:30 am this morning, 13 have been killed and 175 others have been injured, 28 severely, according to the provincial government's information office.

Shen Ji, director of the Sichuan Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission, told People's Daily Online at 8:00 am this morning that the medical department in Sichuan has dispatched more than 400 medical workers to treat the injured.

Jiuzhaigou, or Jiuzhai Valley, is a national park known for spectacular waterfalls and karst formations. More than 34,000 people visited the tourist attraction on Tuesday.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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