The Disasters Emergency Committee is monitoring reports regarding the 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Southern Qinghai, China, at 23.49 GMT on Tuesday 13 April 2010. The strong, shallow quake took place in a sparsely populated rural area where the population is predominantly ethnic Tibetan. Early reports suggest that many homes near the epicentre have collapsed and that more than 300 people have died and 8,000 have been injured.
An emergency response co-ordinated by the Chinese Government is already underway. The Chinese authorities have long experience of dealing with natural disasters and have not made an early call for international assistance.