The death toll from this week’s earthquake in western China has surged to 74, with another 26 missing, the government said.

A magnitude-6.8 earthquake in Sichuan province just after noon on Monday wreaked havoc on homes in the Ganze Tibet Autonomous Region, shaking buildings in the provincial capital Chengdu, where 21 million citizens are under strict Covid-19 lockdowns. I was.

After the earthquake, police and health workers refused to allow anxious residents of apartment buildings to go out, and lockdowns, quarantines and other increased anger over the government’s strict “no coronavirus policy” that mandates restrictions on

Footage circulating online shows residents in the central city of Wuhan, where the pandemic is believed to have started in late 2019, chanting to police to “lift the lockdown and refuse to be tested.” indicates that

Rescuers transport injured residents along a damaged road near Ziyachang village, Luding county (Wei Hong/Xinhua via AP)

The restriction has sparked online and in-person protests. This is a tightly controlled society in China where the all-powerful Communist Party can easily sentence people to months or years in prison for loosely defined crimes such as “choosing a quarrel and causing trouble”. Rarely.

Currently, 65 million Chinese in 33 cities, including seven provincial capitals, are under various levels of lockdown.

The government has also discouraged domestic travel during the Mid-Autumn Festival on Saturday and the week-long national holiday in early October.

Outbreaks have been reported in 103 cities, the highest since the early days of the pandemic in early 2020.

Monday’s quake had its epicenter in the mountainous region of Luding County, which sits on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau about 125 miles from Chengdu, where tectonic plates crash into each other.

China’s deadliest earthquake in recent years was a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in 2008 that killed nearly 90,000 people in Sichuan province. The earthquake devastated towns, schools and rural areas outside Chengdu, requiring years of effort to rebuild with more resistant materials.

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