Ban expresses condolences following deadly earthquake in north-west China

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten (file photo)

23 July 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his deepest condolences following the earthquake that struck China’s north-west Gansu province and resulted in numerous deaths and injuries.

“Our thoughts are with the families of victims and wounded people,” Mr. Ban said yesterday during an event held at the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations.

“I am sure that under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and help of people, there will be speedy recovery of those who are injured. I sincerely hope that the people of China will be able to overcome this very tragic [incident].”

The death toll has reportedly risen to over 90 from the 6.6-magnitude quake that occurred early Monday morning near the city of Dingxi in Gansu province, while more than 1,000 people are said to be injured.

According to a situation report issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), tens of thousands of houses have either collapsed or suffered damage, local roads have been badly damaged, and power and communications have been cut off.

“Secondary disasters such as landslides continued to occur, leading to disastrous impacts,” stated the report, adding that heavy rain is forecast for the quake-hit areas and people have been advised to avoid steep mountains due to possible landslides and aftershocks.

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