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Earthquake shakes South western China, damages thousands of homes

Beijing, Oct 9 (): A shallow, strong earthquake that shook south western regions of China, killed one person, damaged buildings, destroyed about 7,000 homes, injured 324 people and has prompted thousands of people to camp outside their homes as the aftershocks sustained to hit the region, officials said on Wednesday.

The shallow earthquake of magnitude 6.0 hit the Yunnan province of China that is closer to the south-western borders of China with Laos and Myanmar late night on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The quake happened at 9:49 p.m. at a time when most of the residents would have returned to their homes.

According to the reports given by USGS, the earthquake occurred at a depth of 10.1 kilometres (6.3 miles) below the surface. As it was a shallow quake, it was expected to cause more damage; however, there were no immediate reports of serious destruction.

National earthquake monitoring agency of China gave the magnitude of the quake as 6.6 and said it occurred just 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) below the surface. It said the quake was followed by eight aftershocks, the strongest of which registered at magnitude 4.2.

The Jinggu County in the Yunnan province was the mainly affected area as it is closer to the epicentre of the quake. Jinggu County is 85-kilometres away from the city of Pu’er city and the region is famous for tea plantations. The quake was also felt in Yunnan’s provincial capital Kunming.

The official Xinhua news agency said so far only one person was known to have died and added that 324 people were injured. Among the 324 people, eight of them are injured seriously. Reports given by the local officials say over 92,000 people in Jinggu County were affected and 56,880 of them had been displaced. Footages shown on social media displayed damaged houses, fallen roofs, cracked walls and scores of people were gathered outside their homes in the night. People were camping outside in anticipation of more aftershocks.

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