Backgrounder: Quake-hit Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in Qinghai Province
    2010-04-14 12:23:09     Xinhua      Web Editor: Liu Donghui
 

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, northwest China's Qinghai Province, on Wednesday, leaving at least 589 people dead and many others buried under the debris.

The epicenter is about 50 km west of Jiegu Township, the government seat of the Yushu Prefecture, and about 800 km away from Xining, the provincial capital.

The prefecture, covering 267,000 square kilometers, has a population of more than 252,700 people, 97 percent of whom are Tibetans, and 21,700 people are farmers and herdsmen.

The prefecture, with an average altitude of 4,000 meters, is south to Mongolian-Tibetan-Kazak Autonomous Prefecture of Haixi, west to Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Golog, northwest to Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze in Sichuan Province and north to Qamdo Prefecture and northeast to Nagqu Prefecture in Tibet Autonomous Region and southeast to Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The gross domestic product of the prefecture reached more than 2.5 billion yuan (about 367.6 million U.S. dollars) in 2009.

The prefecture experienced a 5.0-magnitude earthquake on July 18, 2006 and a 5.6-magnitude quake on the second day, followed by a series of aftershocks. The epicenters were in sparsely populated pasturing area, and no casualties were reported.

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