Earthquake in China kills three, injures hundreds

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Map of the epicenter location, according to USGS.

According to the United States Geological Survey, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake has struck in China on Sunday, killing at least three people and injuring hundreds. Other reports say that the magnitude was a 6.4.

"The dead included a 4-year-old boy, who was sleeping with his mother when the earth-built walls of their house collapsed in the quake and buried him and half of the body of his mother," the Xinhua News Agency said. "The mother was rescued but the boy was killed."

"The earthquake has left two people dead, 15 seriously injured and 192 slightly hurt in (Ning'er) county. Some houses near the county collapsed and roads are destroyed. The communication network, and water and power supplies to the county, are also affected," Reuters quoted rescue officials as saying. Ning'er county is home to 190,000 people.

The epicenter was located approximately 220 km (135 miles) west of Gejiu, in the Yunnan province, and had a focus depth of approximately 10 km (6.2 miles).

The quake has reportedly hit the downtown region of Pu'er City, located in the southwest are of the Yunnan province near the border with Myanmar and Laos.

At least 120,000 residents were being asked to evacuate as officials say that many houses and buildings are not safe and could fall down.

At least 233 aftershocks have been felt since the quake occurred at 5:34 a.m. local time. Some aftershocks have been as large as a magnitude 5.1.

Communications in some areas have been cut off and houses have collapsed. Damage to the area is estimated at heavy, according to the USGS.

Tents - including 2000 from the Yunnan provincial government - as well as food and other supplies are on the way to the region. The Pu'er City government has provided one million yuan as emergency funding.