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China quake kills more than 300

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

China quake kills more than 300

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BEIJING (AP) – A strong earthquake in southern China’s Yunnan province toppled thousands of homes today, killing at least 367 people and injuring more than 1 800.
About 12 000 homes collapsed in Ludian, a densely populated county located around 366 kilometres northeast of Yunnan’s capital, Kunming, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The magnitude-6.1 quake struck at 4:30 p.m. at a depth of ten kilometres, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Its epicentre was in Longtoushan township, 23 kilometres southwest of the city of Zhaotong, the Ludian county seat.
Ma Liya, a resident of Zhaotong, told Xinhua that the streets there were like “battlefield after bombardment”. She added that her neighbour’s house, a new two-story building, had toppled, and said the quake was far worse than one that struck the area in 2012 and killed 81 people.
“The aftermath is much, much worse than what happened after the quake two years ago,” Ma said. “I have never felt such strong tremors before. What I can see are all ruins.”
Xinhua said at least 367 people were killed in the quake, with 1 881 injured.
Most of the deaths – 357 – were in Zhaotong City, Xinhua said. Another ten people were killed in Quijing City.
News reports said rescuers were still trying to reach victims in more remote towns.
Photos on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media site, showed rescuers searching through flattened buildings and people injured amid toppled bricks.