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Earthquake in SW China destroys scores of homes, causes casualties

March 10, 2011

KUNMING, CHINA (BNO NEWS) — A strong earthquake struck the Chinese – Myanmar (Burma) border region on late Thursday morning, seismologists said, destroying scores of homes and a supermarket and causing an unknown number of casualties.

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake at 11.28 a.m. local time (0458 GMT) was centered in the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in China’s Yunnan Province, close to the border with Burma. It struck about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).

Several minutes after the initial earthquake, CENC said two aftershocks with magnitudes of 4.5 and 4.7 rattled the area. Reports of damage and casualties were coming in, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Xinhua cited county officials as saying that “many houses” in the region had collapsed, causing an unknown number of casualties. A supermarket also collapsed, it added, without giving other details.

In October 2010, a light 4.7-magnitude earthquake destroyed a school in Taikang County in the country’s Hennan Province, injuring 12 students. The quake also destroyed dozens of other homes in the region.

And in August 2010, more than 300 homes were damaged and 12 people were injured when a moderate 5.0-magnitude earthquake rattled Sichuan province. Before that, on April 14, nearly 3,000 people were killed and more than 12,000 others sustained injuries when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked northwest China’s Qinghai Province.

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