BEIJING – A moderately strong earthquake in southwestern China has injured 45 people and forced thousands to seek shelter in an area near the border with Myanmar, Chinese authorities said Saturday.
Residents fled buildings during Friday's quake and students evacuated schools that had already been damaged by another quake in the same area of Yunnan province last week.
Eight people were seriously injured, and 184, 678 were moved to more than four dozen temporary shelters, according to a notice Saturday from the Dehong prefectural government in Yunnan.
The quake in Dehong's Yingjiang county was registered at magnitude 6.1 by China's earthquake monitoring agency, but at 5.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Electricity was cut to some areas in the quake zone, but communications were not affected.
While such quakes are capable of causing serious damage, the number of injured was much reduced because authorities had ordered the evacuation of buildings damaged following last week's 5.6 magnitude quake.
More than 1,000 soldiers were helping rescue efforts, and tents and bedding were sent to aid survivors. About 300,000 people live in the area.
A tremor lasting a few seconds was felt in Myitkyina, the capital of Myanmar's northeastern state of Kachin, and in the town of Bhamo, according to people reached there by phone. There were no reports of injuries or damage there.
China's mountainous southwest suffers frequent earthquakes. Last August, a quake in Yunnan killed five people.