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Thunderstorms for Deadly China Earthquake Cleanup

Daily showers and thunderstorms threaten to hinder cleanup efforts following a deadly earthquake that struck southwestern China.

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck Benzilan, China, at 8:04 a.m. on Saturday local time (8:04 p.m. Friday EDT), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake was followed by three strong aftershocks, one with a magnitude of 5.1.

Xinhua News Agency reports that four people are dead and 10 others injured.

An estimated 9,200 local residents have been forced to relocate as the earthquake toppled 600 residential units and damaged 55,500 others.

The weather will not aid cleanup efforts as daily showers and thunderstorms are on tap through the next several days. Dangerous lightning and downpours are concerns with each thunderstorm.

The afternoon and evening hours should prove to be the most active times of the day.

Residents and cleanup crews should also notice an increase in the thunderstorm activity from Sunday to Monday.

Temperatures in Benzilan are expected to rise to around 26 degrees C (the upper 70s F) each of the next few days with lows near 16 degrees C (60 degrees F).