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More than 50 killed in China quake
2012-09-07 09:40:38 | (0 Comments)
(AP) — A series of earthquakes collapsed houses and triggered landslides Friday, in a remote mountainous part of southwestern China where damage was preventing rescues and communications were disrupted.
At least 64 deaths have been reported.
The quakes started with a 5.6-magnitude shock before 11.30 a.m. along the borders of Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, and another equally big quake struck shortly after noon followed by more than 60 aftershocks, Chinese and U.S.
government seismologists said.
Hardest hit was Yiliang County, where all but one of the deaths occurred, according to the Yunnan provincial government's official website.
Another 715 people in the county were injured, the sites said. Yiliang county's high population density, weak building construction, and propensity for landslides were blamed for the relatively high death toll.
China Central Television showed roads littered with rocks and boulders, and pillars of dust rising over hillcrests — signs of landslides.
Footage showed a couple hundred people crowding into what looked like a school athletic field in Yiliang's county seat, a sizeable city spread along a river in a valley bottom.
With some roads impassable, rescuers had yet to reach some outlying villages and towns, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Though quakes in the area occur frequently, buildings in rural areas and China's fast-growing smaller cities and towns are often constructed poorly.
In 2008, a magnitude-7.9 quake that hit Sichuan province, just north of Yunnan, killed nearly 90,000 people, with many of the deaths blamed on poorly built structures, including schools.
Friday's quakes destroyed or damaged almost 30,000 homes across several counties and townships, the provincial government website said.
The Yunnan seismology bureau said more than 700,000 people had their lives disrupted by the quake.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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