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Quake near China's Shangri-La kills one, injures others

31 august 2013, 12:21
0
An earthquake hit a remote mountainous part of southwest China on Saturday near the popular tourist area of Shangri-La, triggering landslides that killed at least one person, AFP reports citing state media.

The 5.8 magnitude quake, which stuck at 0004 GMT, was centred on Benzilan town in Yunnan province on the border with Sichuan province, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. It was around 10 kilometres (six miles) deep.

Falling rocks from a landslide smashed into a tourist bus, killing the driver and injuring seven passengers, state media said.

State television showed clouds of dust rising from landslides on green mountains and pieces of broken cement that had fallen from buildings.

"During the earthquake this morning, the swaying the county felt was relatively severe," the official Xinhua news agency quoted Liao Wencai, deputy party secretary of Deqin county, as saying.

Benzilan is in Deqin county, roughly 60 kilometres from Shangri-La county, which is named after the fictional mountain paradise in the James Hilton novel "Lost Horizon".

Local officials borrowed the name to attract more tourists to the area, which hosted around 7.6 million travellers last year.

Power in Deqin -- also known by its Tibetan name Deqen -- was cut while some houses in the affected area had collapsed, injuring two people, Yunnan's earthquake bureau said.

Houses were also damaged or collapsed in Sichuan's Derong county, which is near the epicentre, injuring at least four people, the province's earthquake bureau said.

Power was lost in Derong county, and the earthquake also blocked roads and cut off communications in the area, state media said.

In July, twin quakes killed at least 95 people in China's western Gansu province.

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Sichuan province killed about 200 people earlier this year, five years after almost 90,000 people were killed by a huge tremor in the same province.

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