September 1, 2008

China Quake Toll: 32 Dead, 400 Injured

The death toll from Saturday's earthquake in China's Sichuan province, barely recovered from the May 12 quake, and in nearby Yunnan, has risen to 32.

The 6.1-magnitude earthquake that hit the two provinces Saturday afternoon -- and which was then followed by numerous aftershocks -- also injured more than 400 people and destroyed 100,000 homes, the China Daily reported Monday.

At least half a million people have been affected by the quake, whose epicenter was located 30 miles southeast of Panzhihua City, the report said.

Both Sichuan and Yunnan provinces are on the southern end of a fault line of the devastating May 12 quake that killed nearly 70,000 people, left millions homeless and caused billions of dollars of damage that could have a major impact on China's economy.

The China Daily report said the latest quake damaged 656 schools, disrupted communications and is hampering rescue efforts. The injured were being treated in makeshift tents.

Scientists had recorded more than 300 aftershocks in the two provinces as of early Sunday morning.

The most affected areas are Panzhihua and Huili, both in Sichuan, and Chuxiong, Bai and Zhaotong City, all in Yunnan.