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Pattaya Daily News

11 March 2011 :: 10:03:56 am 51321

19 Died In China’s Borderline Earthquake

BEIJING – An earthquake hit China’s southwestern regions, near the Myanmar border, on Thursday, resulting in 19 people died and over 150 others injured, along with collapsing of houses, a hotel and supermarket.
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Witnesses reported that people were buried under collapsed building fragments caused by the quake, centered in Yunnan province’s Yingjiang county.

China Central Television said that the earthquake hit the town at midday when many people were resting at home as a custom, including students. At least two students were reported to be among the dead victims. The television broad casted images of several buildings with cracked concrete foundations.

According to a Chinese’s government website, the earthquake had the magnitude of 5.8, struck just before 1 p.m. (0500 GMT) at a depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers). The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake with a magnitude of 5.4 and at 21 miles (35 kilometers).

An officer of Yunnan Disaster Relief Center, Mr. Ren Xueli, reported that 19 people were killed and 157 people were injured, although China Central Television reported 166 were injured.

CCTV reported that around 100 police, firefighters and soldiers were using three excavators to rescue a man and a girl from a partially collapsed four-stories building. He Shuhui, head of police squad, clarified that the victims were trapped in the stairway on the ground floor.

Another on-site official, Gao Shaotang, said that many houses have collapsed. Xinhua said that an army of 400 soldiers were on their way to rescue.

Xinhua explained that the epicenter of the quake occurred at Shiming Village, just over a mile from the county, but the quake triggered a power failure across Yingjiang – a population of about 300,000 people.

This mountainous area lies approximately 1,500 miles (2,400 km) southwest of Beijing, close to Myanmar border. Many ethnic groups from both sides of the border, reside here, causing heavy traffic in people and goods.

Xinhua said that the region experiences over 1,000 minor tremors over the past two months.

The Myanmar Meteorological Department released a statement to confirm that the earthquake affected an area that was 230 (370 km) northeast of Mandalay, the country’s second biggest city. The statement did not specify the number of injuries, damage or names of the affected area. Authorities in this country tend not to discuss the effects of natural disasters. Most of the area on the Myanmar border is under control of various armed ethnic groups, who fought against the Myanmar military for freedom from central government domination.

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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