BEIJING – An earthquake hit a mountainous area in southwestern China Saturday morning, killing at four three people injuring several more, according to state media and the China Earthquake Administration.
The quake, which measures 5.9 on the Richter scale by the administration and 5.8 by the U.S. Geological Survey, shook several counties in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, including the scenic Shangri-La county. A Chinese report said the epicenter was in a village in Shangri-La, but the USGS put it in Benzilan, a small town in a neighboring county
The China Earthquake Administration said two people were killed in Benzilan, where homes for 22 families collapsed, and that a driver died on a highway in Shangri-La, where falling rocks hit a tour bus and stranded three more buses. It said a total of 17 tourists were trapped.
The party-run People's Daily also reported three fatalities and said six others were seriously injured.
The administration said another major quake hit Shangri-La three days ago, and the U.S. Geological Survey recorded three major aftershocks on Saturday.
China's mountainous areas in its southwest are prone to earthquakes. In May 2008, a powerful quake in Sichuan left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing. In April this year, another quake in Sichuan killed 193 people.