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5.5-magnitude quake hits Yunnan

Updated: Mar 2,2015 6:36 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — A 5.5 magnitude earthquake jolted southwest China’s Yunnan province on the afternoon of March 1.

Photo taken on March 1, 2015 with a cell phone shows a quake-damaged house of the local government at Mengding Township of Gengma Dai and Wa Autonomous County in Lincang City, southwest China’s Yunnan province.[Photo/Xinhua]

The number of casualties was unknown as of 7 p.m..

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, the quake hit Cangyuan, an autonomous county where many of China’s Wa ethnic group live, at 6:24 p.m..

The epicenter was monitored at 23.5 degrees north latitude and 98.9 degrees east longitude, the epicenter was 11 kilometers underground.

Residents of Lincang City said they felt the tremor and their homes “shook from side to side”. A civil servant in the city told Xinhua that his pot fell off the stove by itself when the earthquake occurred.

An official with Cangyuan county’s publicity department said the earthquake was strongly felt for over ten seconds.

A total of 1,000 tents, 1,000 tarpaulins and 2,000 quilts sent by the provincial disaster-relief office are on the way to the quake-stricken area.

An emergency team led by a deputy director of the provincial seismology bureau has been dispatched to evaluate disaster conditions and losses.

According to local authorities, Cangyuan is a sparsely populated county that borders Myanmar. But houses in rural areas have poor shock-resistance capability.

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Yunnan’s Ludian county on Aug 3, 2014, claiming more than 600 lives and destroying over 80,000 homes.

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