6.0-magnitude earthquake hits Sichuan, killing 12 and injuring 134, Latest World News - The New Paper

6.0-magnitude earthquake hits Sichuan, killing 12 and injuring 134

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BEIJING The toll from a 6.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China rose to 12 dead and 134 injured yesterday.

More than 4,000 people were relocated as a large number of structures were damaged or collapsed following late Monday's earthquake outside Yibin in Sichuan province, according to the city government.

State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of rescuers bringing a survivor out of the rubble of a building on a stretcher.

Other images showed a woman being helped out of another collapsed structure.

Cracks appeared in several roads and a major highway connecting Yibin and Xuyong county was closed.

The homes of more than 4,000 families were damaged in Gong county.

An early warning alarm system was triggered in the provincial capital Chengdu about one minute before the earthquake struck, Xinhua said.

The alert rang 10 seconds before it hit Yibin.

A three-second head start before an earthquake strikes can prevent up to 14 per cent of casualties.

Nine people died in Changning county and three others in Qixian county, the Yibin city government said on its Weibo account, up from an initial death toll of six overnight.

Rescuers pulled six bodies and seven survivors from buildings, it said. Xinhua said more than 50 people were being treated in two hospitals.

More than 500 firefighters have been dispatched to the scene. Rescue personnel were also sent with 5,000 tents, 10,000 folding cots and other emergency supplies.- AFP