Powerful earthquake hits northwest China (Lead)

November 10th, 2008 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Xining (China), Nov 10 (Xinhua) An earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale hit northwest China’s Qinghai province Monday morning. There was no immediate report of casualties.The epicentre of the quake was in the Mongolian-Tibetan district of Haixi, about 716 km west of the provincial capital Xining, according to the National Seismic Network.

The Qinghai provincial seismic network monitored an aftershock measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale in the same area an hour after the quake.

The earthquake razed several hutments in Da Qaidam district near the epicentre, and some other mud houses had cracks on their walls, said Gu Xiaodong, an official of the administrative committee of the district, adding that he had no report of death in the quake.

The local government sent three teams of 180 officials to assess the loss in the quake-hit villages.

Da Qaidam has a population of about 16,000, including Mongolians, Tibetans, Muslims, Huis and Hans, according to the county government’s website.

The Qinghai-Tibet railway is largely unaffected by the earthquake. “But we have tightened safety surveillance along the route, and equipped every train with additional mechanical staff,” a railway official said.

On May 12, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit southwest China’s Sichuan province, leaving more than 80,000 dead or missing. It was the deadliest to hit China since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake.

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