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February 1, 2010

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Earthquake kills 1, injures 13 in Sichuan

ONE person was killed, thirteen others were injured, more than 2,000 were relocated and over 100 houses collapsed in an earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale that struck southwest China's Sichuan Province early yesterday.

China's national seismological network said the quake jolted the area between Suining and Tongnan County of Chongqing Municipality at 5:36am. The epicenter was at 30.3 degrees north latitude and 105.7 degrees east longitude, with a depth of about 10 kilometers.

Casualties were reported in three villages of Moxi Town, Suining City in eastern Sichuan, according to the Sichuan Provincial Earthquake Administration.

More than 30 local seismologists and officials, led by Lu Yipei, deputy director of the administration, have arrived in the quake-hit area, the administration said.

Tongnan reported a direct economic loss of 30 million yuan (US$4.4 million) in its eight towns. The quake also damaged more than 4,700 houses in the county, according to the administration.

Chongqing's civil affairs authorities have sent 40 tents and 1,500 cotton-padded quilts to the disaster area, it said.

Suining, a city of 3.8 million, is 140 kilometers east of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan.

Seismologists said there was a slim possibility of more strong quakes in the area, where only three magnitude-2.0 quakes were recorded in the past 20 years.


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