Beijing: At least 67 people were killed and 731 others injured today when a shallow earthquake followed by a series of aftershocks jolted the mountainous southwest China, triggering landslides and uprooting over a lakh people.
The 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit the border area of Yiliang county in Yunnan province and Weining county in the neighbouring Guizhou province at 11:19 am local time, according to China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC).
The epicentre of the quake was traced at Luozehe town, about 33 km away from the city centre of Zhaotong. Its depth was about 14 km.
Sixty-seven people have been confirmed dead and 731 others were injured in the quakes, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted officials from the Yunnan Province`s civil affairs department as saying.
The death toll may rise further as rescuers are yet to reach some of the quake-hit villages blocked off by landslides and falling rocks, officials with Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province said.
Power and communications were cut-off in the worst-hit areas. It was followed by more than 60 tremors, with four above 4.0 on the Richter scale.
Forty-nine people were killed in Yiliang alone while one death was reported from urban Zhaotong area, a provincial civil affairs department official said. Over 150 others were injured.
The quake has disrupted the lives of over 700,000 people in Yiliang and Daguan counties as well as Zhaoyang District, which are all under the administration of Zhaotong, the city`s civil affairs bureau reported.
So far, more than one lakh people have been evacuated. More than 20,000 houses were damaged or had collapsed.