The death toll is still partial. Two strong aftershocks of magnitude 6.6 and 7.0 struck this morning around at 8.00 am local time. The epicenter is about 51 km west of the city of Linqionq. The earthquake caused landslides, mudslides and leveled entire buildings. Panic in the megalopolis of Chongqing located several hundred kilometers to the south-east of the epicenter. Xi Jinping orders the authorities to make every effort to assist the affected population.

Linqiong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - 72 people are dead and over 600 injured following two strong earthquakes (magnitude 6.6 and 7.0) that struck southwest Sichuan this morning between 8.00 and 8.02 (local time). The epicenter of the quake was registered at about 51 km west of the city of Linqiong. Due to the depth of only about 12 km, the aftershocks caused significant damage, landslides and destroyed homes and public buildings.

The quake caused panic in several cities hundreds of miles away from the epicenter, including the megacity of Chongqing, south-east of Linqiong, where the population (about 30 million inhabitants) poured into the streets.

After the scandals of the 2008 earthquake, which killed over 87 thousand people, the authorities of Sichuan province were immediately mobilized to help the most affected areas. Even President Xi Jinping has ordered that "every effort must be made to help the victims and rescue the missing."

On the popular Chinese social network Weibo one of the rescuers expressed his concern by saying that the quake-hit area is surrounded by mountains and most of the roads are blocked due to landslides. Also on Sina Weibo users have different uploaded photographs and videos of the tragedy, also to help the teams to recognize the territory.

According to state news agency Xinhua, the local government of Chengdu, the capital of the region, has sent about 2 thousand soldiers to the area of ​​the epicenter.

In May 2008, the province experienced one of the worst earthquakes in recent decades. The quake hit the villages to the north-west of the city of Chengdu. The disaster destroyed the entire province causing damage and casualties in neighboring region of Shaanxi and Gansu. Despite the prominence given to the tragedy through the state media with photos of Premier Wen Jiabao in front of the rubble, the population began a series of protests after the discovery that many schools had collapsed killing thousands of children, while other buildings remained unscathed. Instead of immediately investigating the incident and punishing those responsible, the government preferred to censor the inhabitants, turning the tragedy of the children who died in the Sichuan quake into a taboo subject. Even today, terms such as "children, earthquake in Sichuan, schools" are censored by the government on the Chinese search engines