BEIJING — A series of earthquakes rattled northern China late Wednesday and early today, killing at least 18 people and flattening about 8,000 homes in a largely rural area, authorities said.
The quakes struck less than 24 hours after a major temblor hit the San Francisco Bay Area. Officials of China's national Seismological Bureau said the quakes were not related to the California temblor.
The bureau said that the five quakes--registering magnitudes up to 6.0--shook an area along the Shanxi-Hebei provincial border and that at least 28 people had been injured.
It was quoted by the official New China News Agency on the deaths and damage.
The first quake, measuring 5.7, shook areas of the two provinces about 135 miles west of Beijing late Wednesday.
A second temblor of 6.0 struck the same region about two hours later, and another quake measuring 5.4 was recorded just before dawn today.