Strong earthquake hits China (Lead)

August 5th, 2008 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 5 (DPA) An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Ritcher scale shook a large area of southwestern China’s Sichuan province Tuesday, the government said. The quake struck at 5:49 p.m. with its epicentre on the border of Sichuan’s Qingchuan county and the neighbouring province of Gansu, close to epicentre of the devastating May 12 earthquake which killed at least 70,000 people.

The quake could be felt in the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu, where an Olympic torch relay was held just hours earlier, the official Xinhua news agency said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Another aftershock in the same area left at least two people dead and injured 345 others Aug 1, the government said.

Tuesday’s quake was the latest and one of the strongest of thousands of aftershocks following the May 12 quake.

Some 20,000 people are still listed as missing since the May 12 quake, which destroyed several towns and villages.

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