The death toll from a massive earthquake devastated China’s southwestern Sichuan province Monday rose to at least 66.
The 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit a mountainous area in Luding County of the Sichuan Province, the China Earthquake Networks Center said.
Residents were being evacuated from the region as President Xi Jinping scrambled to launch a comprehensive rescue effort.
The earthquake was felt 125 miles away in the provincial capital, Chengdu, where a COVID-19 outbreak has restricted most of its 21 million residents to their compounds under China’s strict “zero-COVID” policy.
Earthquakes are fairly common in the area of Sichuan, which sits on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau where tectonic plates meet. At least four people were killed in two earthquakes in June.
The government of Taiwan has offered to send emergency responders to aid rescue efforts in China after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the country’s southwestern Sichuan province Monday.
Taiwan’s fire department also assembled a 40-person team with one rescue dog and 5 tons of equipment, saying it was ready to deploy if China desired, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Lorraine Taylor and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.