Rescue operations were underway throughout the night, with temperatures hitting 7 degrees Fahrenheit. Authorities deployed more than 4,000 firefighters, soldiers and police officers to the affected areas.
Nine aftershocks with magnitude-3.0 or higher were recorded as of 10 a.m. (9 p.m. ET Monday), Gao Xiaoming, deputy director of the Earthquake Administration of Gansu, said in a news conference.
Earthquakes are common in the region, where seven earthquakes with magnitude-5.0 or higher have been registered since 1900, he said.
Han Shujun, a spokesperson for the Gansu provincial emergency management department, said that authorities have asked the public to not travel to the epicenter, some 800 miles southwest of Beijing, to avoid traffic congestion.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for an “all-out” effort to save people, according to the Xinhua news agency. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Armed Police Force will also be carrying out relief work.
The ministries of finance and emergency management allocated 200 million yuan ($28 million) to the two provinces to “assist local efforts in earthquake relief.”