West China earthquake death toll rises to 93

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

A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan province last week, with much of the damage concentrated in the province’s Ganze Tibetan Autonomous Region.

As of Sunday evening, 25 other people were still missing, rescuers said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

The search for survivors and the recovery of bodies have been complicated by heavy rains and the risk of landslides, which have forced some residents to move to temporary shelters.

Rescue workers deliver supplies via an uphill path following an earthquake along the Moxi River near Moxi Town of Luding County, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. (Shen Bohan/Xinhua/AP)

The quake also hit Chengdu, the provincial capital, where residents were under strict zero Covid checks, meaning they were not allowed to leave their buildings.

Footage online showed residents banging on metal doors at the front of apartment complexes as they sought to leave their buildings.

Tens of millions of people remain under China’s extensive zero Covid controls.

The Chengdu local government announced that a few districts where there had been no new Covid-19 cases will be allowed to reopen on Monday.

However, a large part of its 21 million inhabitants remain confined.

Volunteers prepare meals for survivors in Moxi Town
Volunteers prepare meals for survivors in Moxi town (Shen Bohan/Xinhua/AP)

The city reported only 143 cases of coronavirus infection on Monday, more than half of which were 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 eased restrictions.

The country’s approach has minimized deaths but kept millions locked in their homes for weeks or even months at a time.

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