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5.8-magnitude quake shakes Xinjiang region

BEIJING, March 9 (UPI) -- A 5.8 magnitude earthquake early Friday struck northwest China's Xinjiang-Uighur region, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake, at a depth of 22.1 miles, was reported at 6:50 a.m. local time. The epicenter was 132 miles from Aksu in Xinjiang, and 1,856 miles from Beijing, the USGS said.

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China's official Xinhua news agency, quoting the China Earthquake Network Center, said the quake measured 6 on the Richter scale and its epicenter was in the heart of China's largest desert of Taklimakan.

Although no casualties had been reported nearly 4 hours after the quake, a spokesman for the regional quake center said the agency expected to receive damage reports from Aksu, Kashi, Hotan, Bayan Gol and Ili prefectures.

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