A 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Sichuan province on Monday, in the latest blow to the region in southwestern China hit by Covid lockdowns and a historic drought.
The quake struck in Luding county in western Sichuan, about 226 kilometers (140 miles) west of the provincial capital of Chengdu. Tremors were felt in that city, as well as further east in Chongqing. The top five trending topics on China’s leading social media website Weibo on Monday afternoon were all related to the earthquake.
The quake comes in the aftermath of a heat wave and drought that caused surging power demand and reduced hydropower generation in the region, leading to widespread power cuts to factories last month. Power was only restored last week when rainfall brought cooler temperatures to the region.
Chengdu has also suffered from a Covid-19 outbreak. The city, with a population of about 21 million people, has been under lockdown since Thursday as officials follow Beijing’s Covid Zero approach to prevent the virus’s spread.