A two-meter section of China’s Great Wall in northwestern Gansu province collapsed in recent days after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the area, China’s state-run Global Times reported on Monday.
The natural disaster rattled China’s Qinghai province around 1:50 am on January 8. The quake’s vibrations extended beyond Qinghai to Gansu, a neighboring province, where they brought down a section of the Great Wall dating to Imperial China’s Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
“After the strong seism, authorities organized an inspection of local cultural relics and discovered the collapse site,” the Global Times reported of the damaged Great Wall section on January 10.
“A primary protection has been installed and the repair and restoration work is in process,” the newspaper added.
The seismic activity took place in a rural section of northwestern China that is sparsely populated, though residents of cities neighboring the region reported feeling the earthquake’s tremors on Saturday night.
“There were no reports of deaths but nine people were injured, among whom eight were discharged from the hospital and one is still under observation,” the Global Times reported on Monday.
The China Earthquake Networks Center described the seismic activity as “originating from a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles).” The earthquake damaged more than 4,000 homes in Qinghai province and an additional 4,830 houses in Gansu’s Zhangye city, according to a January 10 report by the South China Morning Post.
“The earthquake affected a total of 5,831 people in the province [Qinghai], and 65 people from 16 households whose homes were damaged have been relocated,” Xinhua, China’s official state-run press agency, revealed on January 9.
The tremors additionally damaged sections of “local roads, bridges and water pipelines … to varying degrees,” according to Xinhua.
China’s ruling Communist Party dispatched emergency response teams to Qinghai province on January 9 to help locals recover from the natural disaster.
“Repair work is underway to restore power supplies in part of the affected area,” Li Jun, the director of the political department for Qinghai province, told reporters at a press conference on January 9.
“The emergency management department of Menyuan county has sent 50 tents to Huangcheng township near the epicenter,” Li said at the press briefing.
The revelation suggests displaced locals are currently sleeping in state-provided tents after their homes were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake. Menyuan county is located in the northeast of Qinghai province. It borders Gansu province to the north.
“Current needs for other materials can be met with our reserve of emergency supplies,” Li assured the public on Sunday.