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article image6.3 magnitude earthquake plus mudslides from storms in China

By Anne Sewell     Jun 30, 2012 in Environment
A 6.3-magnitude earthquake has rocked China's Xinjiang region, leaving 34 people injured. No fatalities have yet been reported. However, mudslides from storms have killed 50.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake measured 6.3, but China's Earthquake Networks Center registered it at 6.6-magnitude.
USGS Geophysicist, Chen Shengzao told Reuters, "It's a very quiet, remote, mountainous area that is sparsely populated. A the moment we have no report of any casualty or damage but we are watching closely."
The USGS reported that the quake was very shallow, only 11.2 miles (18 km) below the Earth's surface. According to Chen, with the magnitude and very shallow depth, the earthquake would have been felt widely.
The quake shook buildings and cut off electricity in the remote mountainous area. It apparently also triggered landslides, one of which hit a national highway. Xinhua News Agency reported that the landslide trapped 120 people.
The Xinjiang Earthquake Bureau says that the quake was "strongly felt" in Urumqi. An official said that residents rushed into the streets when the quake hit. However, they returned home later.
The earthquake happened just before dawn and toppled several buildings 186 miles to the west of the region's capital, Urumqi. Xinhua added that rescuers had been dispatched to the sparcely populated area to search for victims.
Besides the earthquake, heavy rains in China have caused mudslides, with 50 dead and another 42 persons missing, according to the civil affairs ministry.
In an online statement the national agency said that storms have badly hit 11 regions and provinces - mainly in south China - since June 20, which triggered the deadly mudslides.
According to the ministry, around 440,000 people have been relocated and many thousands of homes are badly damaged.
More about China, Earthquake, Quake, 63, Xinjiang
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