12 killed, 200 injured in China earthquake

  • AseanPlus News
  • Wednesday, 23 Jul 2003

BEIJING: A strong earthquake hit a mountainous area in China's southwest, causing thousands of mud-brick houses to collapse and killing at least 12 people, officials and state media reported yesterday.  

An official in Dayao County, where the quake hit on Monday, said 15 people were killed. But the official China News Service put the death toll at 12. 

Most people were asleep in their homes when the magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck, said the official, reached by phone in the county government offices. A quake of magnitude 6 can cause severe damage in populated areas. 

“The death toll will definitely rise, although we can't tell how significant it will be,'' he said.  

The quake was centred near the town of Tanhua, the Xinhua News Agency said. The remote area, about 2,200km southwest of here, suffers frequent earthquakes. 

More than 200 people were injured, 23 of them seriously, said Liu Jianyun, another official in Dayao County. 

State television said 5,000 earthen houses collapsed, as well as 18 schools and 68 government buildings. – AP  

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