Strong Earthquake Kills at least 34 in Southern China

August 4, 2014

A strong earthquake in southern China’s Yunnan province toppled houses on Sunday, killing dozens of people and injuring more than 100, officials and state media reported.

Yunnan’s seismological bureau said 24 people died and more than 100 were injured in Qiaojia County. It said another four died in Ludian County, with three missing and one seriously injured.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said at least 34 people were killed in the quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.1 quake struck at 4:30 p.m. at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles).

Ma Liya, a resident of Ludian’s county seat, told Xinhua that the streets there were like “a battlefield after bombardment.” She added that her neighbor’s house, a new two-story building, had toppled.

Chen Guoyong, the head of Longtoushan Township, told Xinhua that many houses there had collapsed, and that rescue workers were working to determine casualties.

Photos on the Chinese social media site Weibo showed several people apparently injured amid toppled bricks.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the quake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years. It reported that the quake loosened rocks that blocked a road near the city of Zhaotong and broadcast an image of a car apparently damaged by debris from the temblor.

In 1970, a magnitude-7.7 earthquake in Yunnan killed at least 15,000 people, and a magnitude-7.1 quake in the province killed more than 1,400 in 1974. In September 2012, 81 people died and 821 were injured in a series of quakes in the Yunnan region.

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