World Bulletin/News Desk
At least five people were killed and 54 injured in a strong earthquake that hit a mountainous province of southwestern China, state media reported Sunday.
Among the injured were 43 children hurt in a stampede when the quake struck their primary school in Tagong town, the epicentre of the 6.3-magnitude quake that hit Kangding County, Sichuan Province, on Saturday afternoon.
Three of those injured are in a critical condition and a further five have severe wounds, Xinhua news agency said, citing the prefecture government.
A woman in her 70s was killed when debris fell on her head, according to Chen Yunbing, a doctor at Ganzi People's Hospital.
President Xi Jinping, who is in Fiji, said provincial and civil affairs authorities must organize a rapid rescue and relief operation to minimize casualties, according to the agency.
More than 79,500 people were affected and 25,000 houses were damaged. About 6,200 people had been relocated.
Xi asked local authorities to strengthen post-quake monitoring and resettle those affected. He also ordered the military and armed police to support relief efforts.
A 35-member police rescue team arrived at Tagong two hours after the quake hit at 16.55 local time (10.55 Turkish time). Six military aircraft, 60 medical staff and nearly 1,000 soldiers and militia are on standby.
Sichuan is a mountainous and sparsely-populated region prone to earthquakes.
The quake zone has experienced at least 95 aftershocks, with the strongest measuring 2.3-magnitude.
Minor cracks appeared in some buildings at Kangding airport but flights were not affected, Tan Heng, an airport clerk, told Xinhua.
Citizens in Chengdu, the provincial capital, said they felt the quake strongly and a section of the G318 highway, which links Tibet and Sichuan, caved in leaving more than 100 vehicles stuck on the highway.
A massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck in May 2008, leaving more than 80,000 dead or missing. In August, at least 617 people died when a 6.5 magnitude quake struck neighboring Yunnan province.
It is still a wide-open race to succeed President Enrique Pena Nieto, who is deeply unpopular heading into the final stretch of his six-year term in a Mexico beset by endless corruption scandals and record levels of violent crime.
His comments came as he faces criticism from survivors of the attack over his ties to the powerful National Rifle Association, and after several thousand rallied in Florida to demand urgent action on gun control.
Temer came to the city to meet Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, several ministers and General Walter Souza Braga Netto, who will lead the operation and who was in charge of coordinating security when the city hosted the 2016 Olympic Games.
Muslims have suffered the most by far from ISIL’s terrorist attacks, Iraqi premier tells Munich Security Conference
Israel struck six targets affiliated with Hamas's armed wing in Gaza Strip, Palestinian security source says
Washington concurs with Ankara on need for locals taking control of liberated areas, says US defense secretary
Army uses live ammunition, rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza
"Deal of the Century" refers to a back-channel U.S. plan to settle the Palestine-Israel dispute
Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Alejandro Murat, governor of the state of Oaxaca, were on their way to survey the scene of the destruction left by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake when the accident occurred, the interior ministry tweeted.
The arrival of Trump and his wife Melania came at the end of a difficult day for the families of those killed in Wednesday's rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, who learned that the carnage could perhaps have been averted.
Trump to consider report suggesting high tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports
Tanks to be integrated into Iraqi armed forces 'within days', Defense Ministry source says.
Army uses teargas and live ammunition to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank city of Nablus
Jens Stoltenberg speaks about recent events near the Kardak islets in Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece