MEP urges monitoring of nuclear facilities after Sichuan earthquake

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has asked local nuclear and radiation safety monitoring stations in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province to closely monitor the situation and avoid a secondary disaster caused by an impact on the local nuclear facilities, after a strong earthquake hit Jiuzhaigou county in Sichuan.

The MEP said on Wednesday that currently the safety of the nuclear equipment in the area is under control and no damages have been reported. Moreover, the environmental radiation monitoring results are normal.

The death toll from Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Sichuan has risen to 20, with 431 injured as of press time.

Among the injured in the earthquake, 18 are in serious condition, according to the provincial government. Seventeen of the seriously injured have been transferred to the cities of Chengdu and Mianyan for treatment.

More than 50,000 tourists, including 126 foreigners, were evacuated following the earthquake, local authorities said Thursday morning.

Rescue workers found 16 people trapped at a scenic spot called Panda Sea in Jiuzhaigou. Ten firefighters were dispatched to rescue them Thursday morning and the result of their efforts is not available as of press time.

Power supplies to the 17 towns in Jiuzhaigou county have been restored. Traffic on a major highway linking Jiuzhai-Huanglong Airport to the county resumed on Thursday.

Jiuzhaigou is a popular tourist destination in the mountains on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is part of the Aba prefecture and is known for ethnic minority communities and stunning scenery.

Source: Xinhua-Global Times

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