China launches emergency response after Tibet quake

October 7th, 2008 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Oct 7 (Xinhua) China Tuesday launched an emergency response operation in Tibet after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit the Himalayan region Monday killing at least 30 people.A team of officers from meteorological and disaster relief departments under the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) has been sent to assess the level of damage caused by the quake in Damxung county near regional capital Lhasa.

The administration has asked its monitoring and forecasting division, disaster relief division, the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC), the China Earthquake Search and Rescue Centre, and Tibet’s seismological bureau to prepare an emergency response on the basis of the survey.

Rescuers said many people could still be trapped under the debris of collapsed houses.

Gedar township was completely cut off from the outside world after its traffic and telecommunication networks snapped following the quake.

Soldiers and medical staff were rushed to the site to conduct rescue work.

Areas adjacent to Gedar township were also affected. However, reports of deaths and injuries there are yet to be verified.

According to the State Seismological Bureau, the epicentre of the quake was located some 82 km from Lhasa.

Several historical sites such as the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, as well as many buildings were damaged in the provincial capital Lhasa after the quake.

However, the Qinghai-Tibet railway and Lhasa airport remained fully operational.

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