The 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck western China this week has killed 74, with the number of missing people rising to 35. The number was updated by Chinese state media Xinhua News Agency on September 7.

The tremor shook Luding County in Ganzi Prefecture, Sichuan province on September 5. As The Associated Press reported, damage to properties and buildings was recorded alongside landslides, with those in Ganze Tibetan Autonomous Region severely hit. 

In the capital Chengdu , the disaster only worsens public anger over the country’s rigid zero-COVID policy. The city was in the middle of a lockdown as the earthquake hit. Many complained online that police and medical personnel blocked residents from exiting their buildings after the earthquake.

Here is one example. This video features security guards arguing with residents at complex gates over leaving because of the earthquake. 

Rescuers raced to locate trapped victims, restore utilities, and bring emergency aid on September 6. Reuters reported that 11,000 people have been evacuated from Luding County. 

But according to this civilian footage, rescue personnel had to line  up for PCR testing before performing their duties. Some criticized that the procedure wasted precious time while the emergency should have been a priority.

As AP News summed it up, various levels of lockdown are presently being enforced on 65 million Chinese living in 33 cities, including seven province capitals. The country has also told citizens to avoid domestic travel during the Mid-Autumn Festival and the weeklong national holiday at the beginning of October.

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