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3 dead, dozens injured as 2 separate earthquakes rock China

  • HU CHAO/XINHUA VIA AP
                                Medical workers treat a woman after an earthquake in Yangbi Yi Autonomous County in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province, early Saturday, May 22. A pair of strong earthquakes struck two provinces in China overnight on Saturday.

    HU CHAO/XINHUA VIA AP

    Medical workers treat a woman after an earthquake in Yangbi Yi Autonomous County in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province, early Saturday, May 22. A pair of strong earthquakes struck two provinces in China overnight on Saturday.

BEIJING >> A strong, shallow earthquake shook southwestern China near the border with Myanmar, killing at least three people and injuring more than two dozen, while a separate, more intense quake early Saturday collapsed a bridge and caused other damage in central China.

The first, 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Yunnan province late Friday. The second 7.3 magnitude quake occurred hours later in the southern part of Qinghai province, about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) to the south, according to Chinese measurements.

U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Jonathan Tytell said the two quakes were not related.

The Qinghai earthquake was followed by 453 aftershocks throughout the early morning into midday, according to the official People’s Daily newspaper. At least eight people were injured.

While no deaths have been reported so far in Qinghai province, the quakes tore up roads and bridges, with one collapsing completely, broken into segments.

The Yunnan province seismological bureau gave the magnitude of Friday night’s quake and said it struck 8 kilometers (5 miles) below the surface northwest of the city of Dali.

Shallow quakes often cause more damage, especially in populated areas.

The earthquake caused strong shaking around Dali, but Chinese news reports showed relatively little damage.

Three people died and 28 were injured, Yunan province’s publicity department said Saturday.

Relief efforts were underway, with the provincial authorities sending emergency rations and tents to the affected areas. In Qinghai, authorities set up temporary safety shelters due to continuous aftershocks.

Last year, a magnitude 5 earthquake in Yunnan killed four people and injured 23.

China’s worst earthquake in recent years struck the mountainous western portion of Sichuan province to the north of Yunnan in 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people.

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