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January 13, 2011

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Shanghai shakes after earthquake out at sea

A 5.0-MAGNITUDE earthquake hit the southern Yellow Sea yesterday morning. The epicenter, at a depth of 10 kilometers, was about 325 kilometers to the northeast of Shanghai, according to the city's Seismological Bureau.

Many people in the city and in neighboring Jiangsu Province said they felt the tremor.

There were no reports of casualties or damage.

When the earthquake hit at 9:19am, residents in Shanghai's Jing'an, Xuhui, Changning, Yangpu, Minhang and Songjiang districts, Chongming County and the Pudong New Area reported the tremors in online posts.

One microblogger said his office building and chairs shook and he felt dizzy.

Another in Pudong said he heard his windows rattling and then some furniture began to shake.

One blogger in Chongming County - islands at the mouth of the Yangtze River - said her bed started to rock. She jumped out and rushed to hide in the bathroom.

A resident in Jiangsu Province's Yancheng City, about 300 kilometers northwest of Shanghai, said he felt his desk trembling and thought it was caused by heavy machinery on a nearby construction site.

Officials from the Shanghai Seismological Bureau said yesterday's earthquake happened in an area where the Pacific Plate, the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Plate meet. It is an area well-known for being prone to earthquakes.

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake rattled the area in 1984 and it was followed by a 3.8-magnitude quake in 1986 and tremors of 3.5-magnitude in 1990, 1994 and 1995.

But Shanghai usually sees little effect from such quakes since they happen quite far away at sea.

Officials assured local residents that no major quakes were likely to follow in the wake of yesterday's Yellow Sea tremor.


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