Death toll from western China earthquake rises to 93

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

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 remained 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.

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Rescuers deliver supplies via an uphill path in the aftermath of an earthquake along the Moxi River near Moxi Town of Luding County, southwest China’s Sichuan Province (Shen Bohan/Xinhua/AP)

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 Covid-19 cases will be allowed to reopen on Monday.

However, much of its 21 million residents remain under lockdown.

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Volunteers prepare foods for survivors in Moxi Town (Shen Bohan/Xinhua/AP)

The city reported just 143 cases of coronavirus infection on 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 minimised deaths but has kept millions of people locked in their homes for weeks or even months at a time.

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