Moderate earthquake destroys homes, injures dozens in northwest China

August 12th, 2011 - 1:21 am ICT by BNO News  

KASHI, CHINA (BNO NEWS) — A moderate earthquake struck northwestern China on early Thursday evening, seismologists and government officials said, destroying scores of homes and injuring more than two dozen people.

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake at 6.06 p.m. local time (1006 GMT) was centered about 103 kilometers (64 miles) east-northeast of Kashi, a city in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. It struck about 8 kilometers (4.9 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the China Earthquake Network Center (CENC).

A spokesperson for the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) said it immediately activated its emergency response plan after the earthquake, which was centered in a border area between the region’s Atux City in the Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture and Jiashi County in Kashgar.

As of early Friday morning, the CEA said damage and injuries had been reported in two towns near the epicenter. A total of 26 people were reported injured, including three seriously, while at least 80 homes had collapsed.

Other details were not immediately available.

Buildings in some regions of China are extremely vulnerable to earthquake shaking, and moderate earthquakes frequently cause serious damage and casualties. Earlier this year, on March 10, at least 26 people were killed and more than 300 others were injured when a moderate 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in China’s Yunnan Province.

Before that, on April 14, 2010, nearly 3,000 people were killed and more than 12,000 others were injured when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck northwest China.

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