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World Briefing / China

400,000 flee homes after 6.0 earthquake

July 11, 2009|Times Wire Reports

More than 400,000 people have left their homes after an earthquake rocked southwestern China, killing one person and destroying thousands of houses, state news media said.

Thursday's magnitude 6.0 quake, centered in Yunnan province's Yao'an County, left 325 people injured, 24 seriously, the New China News Agency reported.

Yunnan Television showed displaced residents sleeping outdoors in makeshift beds of brightly colored quilts. Others packed into emergency tents, bundles of provisions and clothing in tow. Often people leave even undamaged houses after earthquakes because they are afraid to sleep indoors as aftershocks continue to shake the area.

An official at the disaster relief command center in Yao'an said rescuers at the scene were still assessing the damage, but he did not expect the death toll to rise. More collapsed homes, however, may be discovered in the mountainous, sparsely populated area, he said.

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