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22 killed in south-west China quake

August 30, 2008 21:31 IST

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Twenty-two people were killed, over 126 injured and thousands of houses destroyed on Saturday when a strong earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale hit quake-prone southwest China region.

An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale also hit Hejing County in north-west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Saturday, but no casualty has been reported.

Latest reports said 17 people were reported dead and about 100 others injured in Panzhihua city in Sichuan, and five others dead and 26 other injured in neighbouring Yunnan Province.

The quake struck the juncture of Renhe District of Panzhihua and Huili County of Liangshan Prefecture at 4:30 pm (2:00 pm IST). The epicentre was about 50 km south-east of downtown Panzhihua, the National Seismograph Network Centre said.

In Panzhihua, a 54-year-old man was killed in debris in Miyi County and another person was killed Yanbian County.

Nearly 1,000 houses were destroyed and cracks appeared in walls of more than 400 houses, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the affected counties of Liangshan Prefecture, 86 people were injured, and many houses were destroyed. The number of people buried in the ruins were not immediately available.

The quake also affected Chuxiong Prefecture in Yunnan Province, leaving five people dead and 26 others were injured, 11 severely, a prefecture government official said.

The casualties in Yunnan were reported in Yongren, Yuanmou, Wuding and Dayao counties, in which four deaths were in Yuanmou, about 55 km from the epicentre, and another in Yongren, about 30 km from the epicentre.

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