International desk, November 18: A 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Nyingchi in Southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region on Saturday morning, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).The quake struck at around 6:34 a.m. Beijing Time at a depth of 10 kilometers.
The epicenter was in a no man’s land in a canyon, according to Nyingchi’s Tourism Development Committee. The CENC said the average altitude 5 kilometers from the epicenter exceeds 3,179 meters.
Local authorities have launched an emergency plan to monitor the situation in the quake-hit area with the help of drones and satellite remote sensors. Three teams of 20 soldiers have been dispatched for rescue and relief work, according to the official Weibo account of the Xinjiang earthquake bureau.
An investigation organized by Ctrip.com, a leading travel agency in China, has confirmed tourists in the area are safe. The company will also provide major natural disaster insurance for those who started their visits to Nyingchi within three days of the quake.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, emergency response work has been arranged with airline companies including China Southwest Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and Tibet Airlines. Nyingchi airport also launched an immediate emergency response while making sure its normal operation and all three scheduled flights were not affected.