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China Hundreds killed by high magnitude earthquake
[August 03, 2014]

China Hundreds killed by high magnitude earthquake

(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) More than 220 people have died and at least 1,400 have been injured when an earthquake struck south-west China yesterday, toppling homes and sending residents fleeing into the streets, the state broadcaster, CCTV, reported.

A further 181 are missing after the 6.1-magnitude quake hit Ludian county, about 225 miles north-east of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, state news agency Xinhua reported. State media said the tremor was felt in the neighbouring provinces of Guizhou and Sichuan.

Photographs showed rescuers digging through rubble and taking the injured to hospital. Teams were last night still trying to reach some of the remoter areas such as Longtoushan township, the epicentre of the quake.

One resident from Longquan village said: "All houses in the town have been damaged by the earthquake and at least two thirds of them so badly that they could not be used anymore.

"Every few minutes there are people being carried away from the rubble." The resident, who works for a telecoms firm , added: that most of the rescue work was being done by residents as outside teams had yet to reach them. The road was blocked and some mobile communications were down, he said.

In September 2012, quakes in the region claimed 81 lives and injured 821.

The quake struck at 4.30pm local time at a depth of 6.2 miles, according to the US Geological Survey.

CCTV said the quake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years. The province has been plagued by deadly earthquakes. In 1970, a 7.7-magnitude quake killed at least 15,000 people. Four years later, a 7.1-magnitude quake killed more than 1,400.

China's deadliest earthquake in recent decades hit Wenchuan, Sichuan, in May 2008, leaving almost 90,000 people dead or missing. Tania Branigan (c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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