Dozens dead, hundreds hurt as moderate quakes rattle remote part of China

4:22 PM, Sep 7, 2012   |    comments
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BEIJING - More than 60 deaths and hundreds of injuries are reported in China after a series of earthquakes collapsed houses and triggered landslides.

The quakes struck a rural, mountainous part of southwestern China. The Xinhua News Agency says some roads are impassable, keeping rescuers from reaching remote villages and towns.

A provincial government website says almost 30,000 homes were damaged or destroyed across several counties and townships. Officials say more than 100,000 people have been evacuated.

U.S. and Chinese seismologists say the quakes started with a 5.6-magnitude shock, followed by a second quake of the same magnitude and more than 60 aftershocks.

The quakes were of moderate strength but shallow, which often causes more damage. Earthquakes occur frequently in the region, where buildings are often constructed poorly.

In 2008, nearly 90,000 people died when a magnitude-7.9 quake hit Sichuan province, just to the north of the area rattled by today's quakes.

The Associated Press

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