Jiuzhaigou earthquake: Singaporean couple cheated death after switching tables at restaurant

PHOTO: Phua Shu Ming

A Singaporean couple who were caught in a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan province, on Tuesday (Aug 8), claimed they had cheated death after requesting a table switch at the restaurant they were dining in - due to a premonition.

The incident happened at around 9.19pm, and according to the duo, the table which they were originally allocated was 'destroyed' after a dislodged steel beam landed on it.

The man, 56, and his wife were staying at a 5-star hotel during the incident.

There were at least four injured and one death at the establishment after a reception area within the hotel collapsed, reports Lianhe Wanbao via Lianhe Zaobao.

In an interview, the man recalled how they were having their dinner at a restaurant in the hotel at around 9pm.

About 30 minutes later, there were sudden strong tremors, and the whole hotel started shaking like 'they were inside a washing machine', he said.

He added: "I grabbed my wife and we ducked under the table.

"The quaking lasted about four seconds.

"There was shattered glass, and steel beams raining down from the top.

"It was terrifying."

Fortunately for them, their table was not struck by the debris, and the couple escaped unharmed.

Said the relieved man: "The table we were originally allocated was hit by a steel bar.

"Maybe it's our 'six sense', but I decided to change our table before we sat down.

"If it was not due to this snap decision, we could have died!"

The Sichuan fire service said in an official statement that the collapse of the reception area trapped some visitors, but over 2,800 people were evacuated.

At least 19 died in the earthquake.

Netizens have taken to social media to post videos showing the devastation caused by the massive quake.

Take a look at the videos below.