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Moderate quakes hit Sichuan, injuring 8

TWO moderate earthquakes jolted southwest China's Sichuan Province yesterday, causing fresh injuries and new damage to thousands of homes in the area hit by last year's devastating temblor.

A 5.6-magnitude quake struck near Mianzhu City at 2:03am, injuring eight people and damaging more than 8,000 homes, according to the publicity department of the city's Communist Party Committee.

Communications were cut in the townships of Qingping and Tianchi in Mianzu, which was one of the areas hardest hit in the 8-magnitude quake that left more than 80,000 people dead or missing on May 12 last year.

Yesterday's larger quake occurred an hour and 42 minutes after a 4.3-magnitude temblor hit the area.

Aftershock alert

The Sichuan Provincial Earthquake Bureau warned yesterday of the possibility of aftershocks, including some that could be as strong as magnitude 5.

The quake toppled three houses in Tumen Township, also in Mianzhu, while telecommunications, water and power supplies and transportation were disrupted in two other townships in the city.

Officials also confirmed yesterday that a road to Qingping Township collapsed in the quake, stopping transportation services, in addition to causing disruptions to power and telecommunications systems and triggering a water pipeline leak.

Water conservancy infrastructure such as reservoirs and protective embankments and some small bridges and culverts in the city suffered minor damage in the quake.

Repairs to the road were under way, officials said late yesterday.


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