Deadly China quake leaves thousands homeless

An earthquake toppled more than
1,000 houses and apartment buildings in China’s southwest near the border with
Myanmar on Thursday, killing at least 24 people and injuring more than 200,
officials and state media said.

The website of the Chinese
government earthquake monitoring station said the magnitude-5.8 quake was
centred in Yingjiang and struck just before 1 p.m. at a depth of six miles.

 The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake
at a magnitude of 5.4 and at a deeper 21 miles.

Some 1,200 houses or apartments
were crushed by the quake, said Zhao Yunshan, director of Yingjiang government
press office.

More than 127,000 people have been
evacuated to nearby shelters, Xinhua reported, citing the Civil Affairs
Ministry.

According to the USGS, more than 1
million people may have been exposed to the worst shaking.

Vice President Xi Jinping, expected
to be the country’s next leader, called for an “all-out” effort to
get food, water and clothing to those affected by the quake, Xinhua said.

The quake hit while many people,
including students, were home for a customary midday rest.

Officials said four students are
among the dead, while 207 others were injured.

The quake’s epicentre was in
Shiming Village, just over a mile from the county seat, but triggered a power
outage across Yingjiang, which has a population of about 300,000 people, Xinhua
said.

A government team that includes the
Civil Affairs Ministry has been dispatched to the quake-stricken area.

 About 5,000 tents, 10,000 quilts and 10,000
coats are also being sent from the central government.

The mountainous area lies 1,500
miles  southwest of Beijing, close to the
border with Myanmar, and is home to many ethnic groups on both sides of the
border, which sees heavy traffic in people and goods.

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Buildings were destroyed in China’s south-west Yunnan province following Thursday’s earthquake
Photo: AOL News
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