Strong quake shakes China; no casualties reported

BEIJING (AP) - A powerful earthquake struck a sparsely populated area of China's far western region of Xinjiang on Wednesday, damaging some houses, though no casualties were reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.9 quake was centered 268 kilometers (167 miles) east-southeast of Hotan at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). The China Earthquake Networks Center measured the quake at magnitude 7.3 and said at least 20 smaller aftershocks ensued over the following two hours.

The epicenter was in Yutian county, a mountainous area several thousand meters above sea level on the edge of the Taklamakan desert. A magnitude-7.2 quake in that area in March 2008 collapsed some houses but caused no injuries.

China Earthquake Networks Center researcher Sun Shihong said any casualties from Wednesday's quake would likely be low.

The director of the Yutian Civil Affairs Bureau, Zhang Chong, said by phone that no casualties had been reported. A police officer in Yutian said he had felt tremors shaking the police station and ran outside.

Wang Gang, a fire brigade chief in Yutian County, told the national CCTV broadcaster he was heading from the county seat to the earthquake zone, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away, with a team of police and firefighters.

Other officials interviewed by CCTV later said the quake had damaged mainly old houses in the area and that no casualties had been reported. The broadcaster showed footage of residents gathered in open spaces near apartment buildings that appeared largely undamaged.

China's worst earthquake in recent years was a magnitude-7.9 temblor that struck the southwestern province of Sichuan in 2008, leaving about 90,000 people dead or missing.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Stolen Celebration
    Thieves have stolen all the decorations for Seattle's popular Halloween Alley

  • Commitment
    A Boeing CEO says Everett's new 777X wing facility is a sign of commitment

  • All You Can Eat
    6 belt-loosening food challenges in Seattle you may not be man enough to complete
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.