Three killed, 27 injured in series of earthquakes in China

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Beijing, May 22 (PTI) At least 3 people were killed and 27 others injured after a series of earthquakes jolted Yangbi Yi Autonomous County in China's Yunnan Province on Friday, local authorities said.

The quake was felt in all 12 counties and cities of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, with Yangbi being the worst hit, Yang Guozong, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of the prefecture, said.

Two deaths were reported in Yangbi county and one in Yongping County.

Three people were severely injured and 24 others had minor injuries, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

About 72,317 residents in 20,192 households were affected by the quakes.

Four earthquakes over 5.0-magnitude jolted Yangbi from 9 pm to 11 pm (Beijing Time), according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre.

The region has recorded 166 aftershocks as of 2 am. Rescue forces have been dispatched to the quake zone, and rescue efforts are underway.

However, no casualties have been reported after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake jolted northwest China's Qinghai Province Saturday, Xinhua quoted local authorities.

The quake struck Maduo County of Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the province at 2:04 am. Saturday Beijing Time, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC).

The tremor was felt strongly by residents in the provincial capital city of Xining, which is 385 km away from the county seat of Maduo.

The epicentre was monitored at 34.59 degrees north latitude and 98.34 degrees east longitude. The quake struck at a depth of 17 km.

So far there have been no reports of casualties and house collapses with normal operation of power and communication networks, local officials reported.

However, highway sections and bridges have seen collapses in the quake-hit area, making vehicles impassable.

Well-equipped rescue forces have been dispatched to the quake zone.

At an average altitude of 4,200 meters, Maduo County is located at the source region of the Yellow River with a great number of rivers and lakes.

In the past five years, about 25 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or above have occurred within 200 kilometers of the epicenter, the largest of which occured Saturday, CENC data showed. PTI KJV RUP RUP RUP