A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan, southwestern China, on September 5, killing at least 86 people so far. The death toll is rising every day. 

The authorities announced stay-at-home and lockdown measures in this tragic scenario, sparking widespread criticism.

Located in central Sichuan, Chengdu began its lockdown on the evening of September 1, telling people to stay at home until Sunday, September 4. 

Authorities announced Monday, September 5, that the lockdown would last at least until Wednesday, September 7.

The earthquake occurred on Monday, September 5. The epicenter was in rural Luding County in Ganzi, Sichuan.

The announcement issued by the Ganzi Prefecture Emergency Response Headquarters on September 5 started circulating on the internet, and caused heated discussions.

The announcement shows that Luding County and Hailuogou implemented global management and control after the earthquake. Social rescue forces are temporarily not allowed to participate in rescue and disaster relief operations.

A nucleic acid test will be carried out daily in the disaster area. Victims who seek refuge with relatives and friends in other places must report and hold a negative nucleic acid certificate within 24 hours.

People turn to the internet to condemn the authorities for overdoing epidemic prevention: “Life comes first,” “crazy.”

Netizens complained: “We lived in a high-rise and found that the building manager had locked the safety gates and emergency exits. Wouldn’t it kill people if the earthquake’s magnitude were more significant?”

According to the Washington Post, a building manager threatened neighbors on a chat group; he wrote, “Everyone, you may not go down the stairs!!” “You may not run!!!!”

The screenshot spread on social media. 

People fear that the authorities could accuse a person who tried to flee during the earthquake of a “malicious escape.”
Not only in Luding County, the epicenter of the quake, and the central Sichuan area of Chengdu, but in much of China, residents must undergo coronavirus testing every three days. The regime also asked people to log their daily movements on an app to help track contacts.

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