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Quake jolts 2 remote counties in Xinjiang

MORE than 28,000 people were affected by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake that jolted northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region last Friday, the local civil affairs authority said on Saturday.

The earthquake's epicenter was at the juncture of Kalpin and Akqi counties, in the Tianshan Mountains. The area is 35 kilometers from the county seats of Kalpin and Akqi, and about 1,200km from the region's capital Urumqi.

Based on preliminary calculations by the region's civil affairs bureau, 13,400 people in Kalpin suffered economic losses and 605 others were evacuated. The quake also damaged 4,009 houses, destroyed 182 others and caused a loss of more than 59 million yuan (US$8.6 million).

One thousand houses were damaged in Akqi. The quake caused a combined 44.65 million yuan in losses to Akqi's farmers and herdsmen. Infrastructure damage in the county was estimated at 15 million yuan.

Experts from the region's earthquake and civil affairs bureaus arrived in the area on Saturday. The mountainous terrain and poor communications networks slowed relief work, officials said.

"The civil affairs bureau sent relief materials on Friday and 40 tents have arrived," said Izaq, a civil affairs bureau official.


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