Lanzhou, China: A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck northwest China’s Gansu and Qinghai provinces late Monday evening, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. At least 111 people have been confirmed dead, with over 230 injured, countless houses collapsed, and roads damaged. The tremor sent terrified residents fleeing into the streets for safety.

Rescue efforts are currently underway in both provinces, with priority given to locating survivors trapped under debris. The earthquake caused widespread damage, disrupting power and communication lines, adding to the chaos and hindering rescue operations.

President Xi Jinping has issued urgent instructions demanding all-out search and rescue efforts, relocation of the affected population, and ensuring the safety of lives and property.

The quake, initially reported as a 5.9 by the US Geological Survey and later confirmed as a 6.2 by China’s Xinhua News Agency, struck near the border of Gansu and Qinghai provinces, with the epicenter located just 10 kilometers deep. Haidong, a city in Qinghai, was among the areas heavily impacted.

Videos circulating on social media showed fallen ceilings and debris-strewn streets, underscoring the severity of the earthquake’s impact. Power and water supplies have been disrupted in several villages, highlighting the urgent need for emergency assistance.

This tragedy, unfortunately, comes less than four months after another earthquake struck eastern China in August, injuring 23 people and causing significant damage. Earthquakes are quiet common in China, but the intensity and loss of lives in this latest tremor call for a swift and coordinated response to alleviate the suffering of the affected communities.

(with input from agencies, story written with assistance from google bard)

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