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Death toll from western China earthquake rises to 93


BEIJING (AP) — The death toll from a major earthquake in western China rose to 93 as the search for survivors continued, authorities said.

A magnitude 6.8 quake hit Sichuan province last week, with much of the damage concentrated in Ganze Tibetan Autonomous Region in the province.

Another 25 people remain missing as of Sunday evening, rescuers said, according to state broadcaster CCTV. The search for survivors and recovery of bodies were complicated by heavy rains and the risks of landslides, which forced some residents to move to temporary shelters.

The earthquake also affected Chengdu, the provincial capital, where residents were under strict zero-COVID controls, meaning they were not allowed to leave their buildings. Footage online showed residents banging at metal gates at the front of apartment complexes as they sought to leave their buildings.

Tens of millions remain under China’s extensive zero-COVID controls. Chengdu’s local government announced that a few districts where there had been no new COVID19 cases will be allowed to reopen Monday. However, much of its 21 million residents remain under lockdown. The city reported just 143 cases of coronavirus infection Monday, more than half of which were people who did not have symptoms.

China has stuck to its massive system of lockdowns and mass testing even as the rest of the world has loosened restrictions. The country’s approach has minimized deaths, but has kept millions of people locked in their homes for weeks or even months at a time.

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