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AKIPRESS.COM - A strong earthquake in southern China’s Yunnan province killed at least 381 people and injured more than 1,800, The Irrawaddy reported.
Around 12,000 mostly brick houses collapsed when the magnitude-6.1 quake struck at 4.30 pm on Sunday afternoon in Ludian county, 370 kilometers northeast of Yunnan’s Kunming.
Rain and thunderstorms were forecast for the area in the coming hours, complicating efforts to bring tents, water food and other relief supplies to survivors. Roads had caved in, and rescuers were forced to travel on foot.
The death toll was expected to rise, once rescuers reached remote communities to assess casualties.
Many of the houses that collapsed in Ludian, which has a population of around 429,000, were old and made of brick; electricity and telecommunications were cut off in the county. The mountainous region is largely agricultural, with farming and mining the top industries, and is prone to earthquakes.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered “his condolences to the Chinese Government and the families of those killed.” He expressed readiness to “lend assistance to efforts to respond to humanitarian needs” and “to mobilize any international support needed.”
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the earthquake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years.