Approaching Rains to Hinder Deadly China Earthquake Search, Rescue

By Courtney Spamer, Meteorologist
July 23, 2013; 5:01 AM
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On Monday morning, Beijing time, the USGS measured a 5.9-magnitude earthquake.

The epicenter was in central China's Gansu province, west of the city of Tianshui. Gansu has a population of 26 million.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the death toll has risen to 94 and more than 1000 people have been injured.

Additionally, a good amount of structural damage was reported in the area. Brick and stone walls crumbled and glass on the side of a high-rise building shattered. The report from Xinhua News Agency stated that about 240,000 homes were damaged.

The epicenter of the initial earthquake and aftershocks are shown on this USGS map.

The epicenter of the earthquake lies in the Himalaya, an area where the India and Eurasia plates have been colliding and converging at a rate of 40-50 mm per year.

Following the first quake, there was a series of aftershocks, one of which registered at 5.6.

Largely dry weather is expected across the region through at least Wednesday which will aid any rescue and relief efforts.

A storm system will then bring the threat for a soaking rain and even a thunderstorm Wednesday evening into Thursday. This will be followed by a lighter rainfall Friday night into Saturday. Any rainfall could hamper further relief efforts.

Meteorologist Eric Leister contributed to this story.

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