DHARAMSHALA: A massive earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit the scenic Zhitsa-Degu County in Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (incorporated into China’s Sichuan province) in eastern Tibet late in the night of 8 August 2017. The epicenter of the quake was reportedly 284 kilometres (176 miles) north of the provincial capital Chengdu and struck at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to US geological services.
Chinese authorities confirm at least 19 people have died and more than 200 people injured in the earthquake. However it’s not clear how many of them are Tibetans, Chinese and visiting tourists. It is feared that the number of casualties would increase dramatically as the debris and rubble is cleared.
Jiuzhaigou County known is Tibetan as གཟི་རྩ་སྡེ་དགུ་རྫོང་ is a picturesque hill area popular with both Chinese and international tourists for its large number of lake groups, waterfalls and rich variety of endangered flora and fauna. The area was awarded the status of UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1997 and was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.