China quake flattens 18,000 homes, leaves one dead

China quake flattens 18,000 homes, leaves one dead

In this photo released by China's official Xinhua news agency, firefighters and local people set up a relief tent in Yao'an County in southwest China's Yunnan Province on early Friday. AP

A government relief official in Yao'an county, a mountainous area of picturesque Yunnan province, said that one person had died and 328 had been injured.

The US Geological Survey said the moderate 5.7-magnitude quake struck at 0445 IST yesterday at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres in Yunnan province.

"I was harvesting tobacco leaves when the quake hit. I felt dizzy and saw villagers falling over. Many houses collapsed," Dong Zhaofu, a farmer in Yao'an county told the Xinhua news agency.

A 50-year-old woman was buried in the debris of collapsed houses and died later in hospital from serious blood loss, Xinhua said, citing local officials.

The quake was centred on a relatively sparsely populated area 98 kilometres east-northeast of the city of Dali.

Eight aftershocks followed, driving residents outdoors into the warm night for fear of greater damage, Xinhua said.

More than 18,000 houses collapsed and over 75,000 others were damaged in six counties of Yunnan, with 30 people suffering serious injuries, it said.

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