Moderate 5.1 Earthquake in China Kills Two

A moderate earthquake jolted southwest China on Friday, killing two people and destroying homes in an area still recovering from damage caused by a temblor that hit last month, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The magnitude-5.1 quake struck Yanjin county in Yunnan province at 1:51 p.m. (0551 GMT), Xinhua said. It did not give details of the deaths.

"The quake was strongly felt," Cheng Lianyuan, a local official was quoted as saying by Xinhua. "Some big rocks from the mountains rolled down and destroyed many parts of the road."

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Provincial officials and earthquake experts have been dispatched to Yanjin to direct relief efforts, the report said.

Some 400 tents were being sent to the quake zone, the agency cited Yin Liyuan, vice director of the Yunnan Civil Affairs Bureau, as saying.

Chen Tieniu, deputy director of Yunnan's seismological bureau, said one person died in the town of Zonghe after being hit by falling rocks. He said another 11 people in the town were injured.

Several houses in the nearby town of Dousha also collapsed, he said.

Yanjin county, which lies on an earthquake belt, was still recovering from a July 22 quake that killed 22 people and injured 106, Xinhua said. Railroad tracks, roads and thousands of houses — many built on hillsides — were damaged or destroyed. There were at least five aftershocks.

Yanjin, which has a population of 350,000 people, is about 570 kilometers (350 miles) from the capital city of Kunming, Xinhua said.

Tremors could be felt in towns 40 kilometers (25 miles) away and even in Chengdu, the capital of neighboring Sichuan province, it said.

Zhang Yan, another Yanjin official, said the streets in Dousha "were littered with tiles and bricks."

"Many residents stayed outdoors for fear of the aftershocks," she was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

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