September 1, 2008

Dozens Killed As Quake Strikes Southern China BRIEFLY: ASIA/ PACIFIC: BEIJING

An earthquake that hit the southern Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan has killed at least 27 people, damaged or destroyed more than 180,000 homes, and affected at least 800,000 residents, state media said Sunday.

The epicenter of the quake Saturday was about 30 kilometers, or 20 miles, southeast of Panzhihua, near Sichuan's border with Yunnan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS put the magnitude of the quake at 5.7, while Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said it measured 6.1.

A 5.6-magnitude aftershock hit the same area 24 hours later, the USGS said Sunday. There were no immediate reports of further damage. The government was rushing disaster relief to the affected areas, including thousands of tents and blankets and tons of food and water, according to Xinhua.

Originally published by Reuters.

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