Two dead in China earthquake

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BEIJING, May 21, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck
the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan late Friday, killing at
least two people, local officials and seismologists said.

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre of the quake — which
hit at 9:48 pm (1348 GMT) at a relatively shallow depth of 10
kilometres (six miles) — was near the city of Dali, a popular tourist
destination.

The initial magnitude of 6.0 was revised upwards.

Two people were confirmed dead after the earthquake in the
mountainous province, local officials said in a statement in the early
hours of Saturday, adding that at least 17 others had been injured and
were receiving treatment.

More than 20,000 people have been evacuated, the Yunnan government said.

More than 100,000 people live in the area, the vast majority of
them in rural communities.

Local media published videos showing ceiling lamps swinging and
vases falling off shelves, as well as groups of people who had run
outdoors after the quake.

The provincial government said some buildings had collapsed and
others had been damaged, and that the “disaster situation was
undergoing further verification.”

The China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) warned people to “stay
away from buildings” in a post on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

The quake monitor said the earthquake followed a series of smaller
quakes less than an hour before.

Yunnan is acutely vulnerable to earthquakes. The region sees
frequent seismic activity from the collision of the Indian and
Eurasian tectonic plates, which form the vast Himalayan mountain
range.

In October 2014, hundreds of people were injured and more than
100,000 displaced after a shallow 6.0-magnitude tremor hit Yunnan,
close to China’s borders with Myanmar and Laos.

China is regularly hit by earthquakes, especially in its
mountainous western and southwestern regions where Yunnan lies.

A powerful 7.9-magnitude quake in southwest Sichuan province in
2008 left 87,000 people dead or missing.

In February 2003, a powerful 6.8-magnitude quake killed 268 people
in Xinjiang and caused significant damage.