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China says 6.5 quake hits far western region of Xinjiang

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BEIJING » A magnitude 6.5 earthquake shook buildings in China’s far western region of Xinjiang on Friday, sending people out onto the streets, but there were no immediate reports of casualties from the sparsely populated area surrounding the epicenter.

The quake hit Pishan county in the Hotan region of Xinjiang at a depth of about 6.2 miles shortly after 9 a.m. Friday (3 p.m. Thursday in Hawaii), the China Earthquake Networks Center said.

"Buildings were trembling and people rushed to the streets," said Jin Xingchang, an express courier in Hotan city, about 9.3 miles away from Pishan.

The mostly ethnic Muslim Uighur area of Pishan is at the southern edge of the Taklamakan desert near the border with India, and is abundant in mineral resources including coal, crude oil, natural gas and jade.

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