5.5 Magnitude Earthquake Damages Thousands of Buildings in China, Topples 700 Homes

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | March 4, 2013 11:27 AM EST

A 5.5 magnitude earthquake, in what Chinese media described as just shallow or moderate, struck the nation's Yunnan province on Sunday. Although no casualties have been reported as of presstime, the earthquake did damage at least 3,000 buildings and toppled some 700 homes.

The quake, which struck Eryuan county at 1:41pm in Dali City, the capital of the Bai autonomous prefecture, has affected 55,000 people. The area, which is close to China's border with Myanmar, has some 130,000 residents.

The quake's epicenter according to local seismologists was recorded at 9 kilometres deep.

Thirty people have been injured, and three of the injured sustained serious wounds, Xinhua reported. 

Some 34 aftershocks had been recorded since the earthquake first struck on Sunday afternoon.

The Yunnan Provincial Civil Affairs Department has sent 6,000 tents, cotton quilts and coats to the quake-hit area.

China's southwest region has been known to be particularly prone to seismic upheaval since it is located above where the Eurasian Plate and Indian Plate meet.

Just in September 2012, an earthquake hit the same region which prompted landslides, killing at least 80 people along its path.

In January, another 4.9 magnitude earthquake struck the border of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, leaving eight people injured.

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