08/20/2008, 00.00
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China: earthquake leaves thousands homeless in Yunnan

A 5.3 magnitude quake hit the south western Chinese province this morning. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, but so far there are no official reports of victims. Reconstruction in Sichuan, devastated by an earthquake last May, is off to a slow start.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – At 5.35 this morning an earthquake registering 5.3 on the Richter scale hit South West China in the province of Yunnan, not far from the Myanmar border.  So far there are no reports of dead or injured, but countless houses have been destroyed and over 1200 people have been forced to leave their homes.  Authorities are coordinating relief operations in the area, to verify if there are people missing or buried under the rubble.

The city of Sudian, 50 km from the county capital Yingjiang, was the epicentre of the quake; Yunnan lies just north of Sichuan, where May 12th last an earthquake left 70 thousand people dead.  Early August another tremor hit Gansu and Sichuan provinces, killing one person and injuring 23 others.

Government authorities have set up a task force to supervise reconstruction in Sichuan counties, including the building of houses for the millions who lost their homes as well as economic development programmes to guarantee employment to local citizens, who have been further impoverished by the disastrous consequences of last May’s quake.


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See also
Earthquake in Nepal: more than 3,500 dead. Caritas on frontline in rescue
Earthquake in Yunnan, Catholics at forefront in helping survivors
Earthquake in Sichuan: over 10 thousand victims, epicentre still isolated
Typhoon Haiyan: Manila declares a state of calamity as a new storm hampers relief efforts
Typhoon in northern Philippines: Landslides and floods, hundreds feared dead


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