The number of people affected by the powerful 7.3 magnitude quake that jolted northwest China’s Xinjiang region on Wednesday has risen to over 58,000, nearly eight times the initial estimate.
The quake has affected 58,127 residents in six counties of Hotan Prefecture, with 19,905 relocated to safety, according to figures released by the regional civil affairs department on Friday.
The tremor toppled 3,281 houses, damaged 30,322 other properties and killed 2,163 heads of livestock, causing direct economic losses of about 271.6 million yuan (USD 44.5 million), state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Local authorities said losses inflicted by the disaster have surged as more relief teams reached the remote areas. Relief work is progressing and no casualties have been reported, the report said.
The quake was followed by a series of high-intensity aftershocks. The initial estimate suggested that the number of affected could be around 7,800. The epicentre, in a sparsely populated area with an average altitude of 5,000 metres, is more than 50 km from the nearest settlement, Aqqan Township in Yutian County, Hotan Prefecture.
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