Beijing, 9 August 2017 –  A powerful earthquake has struck China’s central Sichuan Province and aftershocks are rattling the region.

While the impact of the quake has yet to be determined, the Red Cross Society of China is deploying emergency specialists and volunteers in the province to assess and assist affected communities. Relief supplies are also being mobilized.

“The quake hit at night, communications lines and electricity are disrupted and people are no doubt shocked and scared,” says Gwendolyn Pang, with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in China. “It may take some time to learn the extent of damage and casualties.”

The China Earthquake Networks Centre says the quake measured at a magnitude of 7.0. The epicentre was reported to be close to the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve, a sparsely populated area, but also a popular tourist destination.

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