World Bulletin/News Desk
Rescuers in southwestern China tried on Saturday to reach remote communities rocked by back-to-back earthquakes that killed at least 89 people and damaged tens of thousands of buildings, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Friday's shallow 5.6 magnitude quakes struck an impoverished, mountainous part of the country with poor infrastructure and telecommunications and the death toll could rise as news trickles out of cut-off areas, it said.
Most of the victims were from Yiliang county in Yunnan province, near the epicentre.
Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed boulder-covered roadways, abandoned cars and black smoke billowing from buildings.
President Hu Jintao, visiting the Russian city of Vladivostok for an Asia-Pacific summit, called for efforts to help the victims and Premier Wen Jiabao headed to the quake zone, Xinhua reported.
Rescuers in Yunnan said late on Friday they had reached 90 percent of the six quake-hit counties under the jurisdiction of Zhaotong city, where 740,000 people had been affected by the quakes, it said.
Direct economic losses tallied 3.5 billion yuan ($552 million), Yunnan's civil affairs department was quoted as saying.
Officials in neighbouring Guizhou said two people were injured and the lives of nearly 28,000 people were disrupted in Weining county, on the Yunnan border.
Buildings in China's less developed regions are often built with little regard for construction standards, making them susceptible to earthquakes.
The first one at 11:19 a.m. (0319 GMT) on Friday and the second one about 45 minutes later at a depth of about 10 km (6 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Earthquakes with an epicentre less than 70 km (45 miles) below the surface are considered shallow and can cause significant damage, even at lower magnitudes.
In 2008, about 87,600 people were killed in the southwestern province of Sichuan when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit. Many of the victims died in the rubble of homes and schools built without adequate steel reinforcement.
Visiting Afghan deputy foreign minister calls on Pakistan’s foreign secretary in Islamabad
Indian authorities sought military help in two districts of northern Uttar Pradesh state after heavy rains left hundreds of villages marooned.
Death toll rises following suspected accident during Friday's military exercise at inter-Korean border
Proposal by Moro Islamic Liberation Front has Duterte’s support
Agriculture Ministry confirms dozens of farms used illegal insecticides
Ministry of Interior directs all security units to be extra vigilant on 99th Independence Day
Several others also sustained injuries in ‘unidentified explosion’ at inter-Korean border
Residents of the eastern city of Hangzhou -- home to e-commerce giant Alibaba -- can now register their internet-related civil complaints online and wait to log onto to their trial via videochat.
Each of the dead men has a number in Roman numerals drawn in black pen above their bare feet to help the morticians keep track of the bodies that churn through each night. One of them is marked VI.
Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah is the first Tamil to head a wing of the military since 1970, even though Tamils make up around 15 percent of Sri Lanka's population.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-In moved to reassure his citizens that Seoul has an effective veto on US military action, after weeks of sabre-rattling from both US President Donald Trump and the North's Kim Jong-Un.
Most of the victims are children, an official from Department of Disaster Management says
South Korean leader Moon Jae-in says Pyongyang’s nuclear threat must be resolved by peaceful means
Operation against ISIL in eastern Afghanistan injures several soldiers
President Joko Widodo asks nation to fight terrorism, drugs and illegal fishing
International human rights watch claims Duterte has unleashed a human rights calamity