Earthquake rocks China, kills 1

An earthquake of 6.3 magnitude hits Sichuan province, kills woman 

Beijing: A strong earthquake struck a lightly populated, mountainous area of western China on Saturday, killing at least one person and causing minor damage to buildings, officials and state media said.

The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-5.9 quake had a depth of 14.6 kilometers. It struck late afternoon about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the town of Kangding in Sichuan province. China’s seismological agency however gave the magnitude as 6.3.

Locals stand outside after a quake hit Kangding County in Sichuan Province, China on Saturday. PIC/AP

A woman in her 70s died after being struck by a falling window pane, state broadcaster CCTV said.

A duty officer at the Kangding county government, who gave his surname as Xia, said the quake lasted only a few seconds, and that there had been some reports of cracks in buildings and toppled walls. The area is frequently struck by earthquakes, and Xia said newly constructed buildings in the town of Kangding must be able to withstand those of up to 8 in magnitude, although requirements are less strict in the surrounding rural area.

Wang Dan, a spokeswoman for the Ganzi prefecture government under Kangding county, said rescue teams had already been dispatched to the epicentre. He said the local electricity supply hadn’t been knocked out, there were no disruptions to transport or communications, and there was no major damage to buildings in the town of Kangding.

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