BEIJING: A strong earthquake that hit southwest China’s mountainous Yunnan province has killed one person, and left more than 300 people injured as well as 50,000 displaced, state media said Wednesday.
The shallow 6.0 magnitude quake hit late Tuesday in a region that lies close to China’s borders with Myanmar and Laos, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
One person was so far known to have died, the official Xinhua news agency said. It added that 324 people were injured, mainly in Jinggu County, close to the epicenter of the quake.
It quoted local officials as saying more than 92,000 people in Jinggu were affected and that 56,880 of them had been relocated.
“Many houses collapsed and we are investigating the casualties,” a local official told the agency. “The aftershocks seem non-stopping.”
Provincial officials declared a top-level emergency, with 3,200 troops dispatched in a “race to save more lives”, according to Xinhua.
An additional 600 professional rescuers with sniffer dogs have been sent to the quake zone.
The epicentre was located 85 kilometers (around 50 miles) from Pu’er city, in a region famous for its tea plantations. The quake was also felt in Yunnan’s provincial capital Kunming.
Xinhua gave a significantly higher reading of 6.6-magnitude, citing the China Earthquake Networks Center.