24 killed, 200 injured in China quake

March 10, 2011 at 12:51 PM
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LAMENG, China, March 10 (UPI) -- Chinese officials called for an all-out effort to save people after a moderate earthquake killed at least 24 and injured more than 200 near Myanmar.

At least 33 of the injured were in critical condition, officials said. Witnesses described people buried under debris and said part of a supermarket and a hotel caved in. Sidewalks were lined with injured people on blankets.

Vice President Xi Jinping, expected to be the country's next leader, ordered food, clean water and clothes for the people in southwest China's Yingjiang County in Yunnan Province affected by the magnitude 5.8 quake, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Some 10,000 tents and 15,000 quilts were also rushed to the mountainous area 1,500 miles southwest of Beijing, along with more than 1,000 soldiers sent to help rescue efforts, the agency said.

More than 127,000 people were evacuated to shelters, the nation's Ministry of Civil Affairs told Xinhua.

Some 1,200 houses or apartments were destroyed by the quake, a Yingjiang government spokesman said. Another 5,000 were severely damaged.

More than 80 percent of the homes in the village of Lameng, which Xinhua said was at the epicenter, collapsed in the quake, which was followed by at least seven aftershocks measuring up to magnitude 4.7.

Power was cut off to much of the area early Friday, but communications still worked and water was still available, state broadcaster China Central Television reported.

Yingjiang County has a population of more than 270,000 and is home to several of China's ethnic minorities.

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck the county in August 2008, killing three people and injuring 106, China Earthquake Networks Center researcher Sun Shihong told Xinhua.

The Myanmar Meteorological Department said the quake hit some 230 miles northeast of Mandalay, the country's second-largest city, with a million residents and Burma's last royal capital. The department mentioned nothing about injuries, damage or what parts of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, were affected.

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