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Earthquake in Yunnan destroys 700 homes

By Li Yingqing and Sun Li (China Daily)

08:37, March 04, 2013

A magnitude-5.5 quake hit Southwest China's Yunnan province on Sunday, injuring at least 30 and damaging thousands of homes.

The quake struck Eryuan county in Dali city, the capital of the Bai autonomous prefecture, at 1:41 pm, with its epicenter 9 kilometers deep.

By 7 pm, more than 2,500 houses were known to have been damaged and 700 others had collapsed, but no fatalities had been reported.

The local civil affairs bureau said the quake has affected 55,000 people.

The China Earthquake Network Center said it was the third quake to jolt the county within 13 hours. The first magnitude-3.0 quake happened at 12:52 am, while the second, a magnitude-2.9 one, took place at 2:30 am.

Some 34 aftershocks had been recorded after the quake by 6 pm on Sunday.

The China Earthquake Administration and the Yunnan provincial government have initiated an emergency response.

Qin Guangrong, Party chief of Yunnan province, who is in Beijing to attend the upcoming first session of the 12th National People's Congress, also urged local authorities to conduct emergency actions on Sunday. They have already sent 6,000 tents, cotton quilts and coats to the stricken area.

Yunnan's provincial earthquake bureau has sent a team to the quake-hit area, and more relief supplies are on the way. Relocation of affected residents is also under way.

Yunnan province lies where the Eurasian Plate and Indian Plate meet and is prone to seismic upheaval.

Last month, eight people were injured after a magnitude-4.9 quake hit the border area of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.

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