At Least 20 Dead, More Than 300 Injured in Qinghai Quake as China Imposes Information Lockdown

Residents of Matoe county have been barred from posting reports on deaths or damage from the May 22 quake, a Tibetan source says.
2021-06-01
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At Least 20 Dead, More Than 300 Injured in Qinghai Quake as China Imposes Information Lockdown
Photo: RFA

An earthquake in a Tibetan-populated county of northwest China’s Qinghai province has killed at least 20 people and injured more than 300, although authorities have yet to confirm any deaths and are blocking information flows from the region, Tibetan sources say.

The 7.3 magnitude quake struck Qinghai’s Matoe (in Chinese, Maduo) county on May 22, the China Earthquake Networks Center said, with official sources reporting livestock deaths and minor property damage, but saying only that 19 people had been injured in the jolt.

“At least 20 persons were killed, and more than 300 others were injured, though, with 13 reported missing,” a source in the region told RFA’s Tibetan Service this week.

Local authorities have promised compensation of 50,000 yuan (U.S. $7,840) to the families of victims, still unacknowledged in Chinese media reports, killed in the quake, RFA’s source said.

Tibetan residents of Matoe, a county in Qinghai’s Golog (Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, have been barred from posting reports online concerning deaths or damage from the May 22 quake, the source said.

“Any information about deaths or injuries occurring in the jolt must be reported to Chinese authorities rather than being shared online,” he said.

Reports of the numbers of persons killed and injured in Matoe could not be independently confirmed.

The Matoe earthquake followed a 6.4 magnitude quake earlier that same day in the Yangbi Yi Autonomous County of southwestern China’s Yunnan province that left at least three dead and 32 injured, the official China Daily reported on May 24.

Reported by Sangyal Kunchok for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Tashi Wangchuk. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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