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5.3-magnitude earthquake hits southwest China

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Beijing – At least three people were injured and several houses damaged after a 5.3-magnitude quake jolted a town in southwest China early today, authorities said.

There were reports of house collapse, road cave-ins and rocks rolling down from mountains in quake-hit Yongshan County, Yunnan Province, Li Fei, spokesman for the provincial earthquake administration, was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The quake has left three people injured slightly, said a disaster relief official with the Yunnan Civil Affairs Department.

The department has dispatched staffers to the affected area. The tremor shook Yongshan at 6:40 a.m. (local time) with its epicentre 13 km deep in Xiluodu township, where the country’s second largest hydropower station is situated.

The power station continued normal operation after the quake, Li said. Communication is normal in the quake-hit area.

“We strongly felt the quake, but it did not last long,” said a local resident in the county seat.

Some residents said they were woken up by the tremor as they were asleep when it struck. Some ran out of their houses after the quake and returned home a few minutes later.

Authorities are checking the losses caused by the tremor, a Yongshan publicity official told Xinhua.

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