Saturday, May 23, 2015   

Death toll from quake in Yunnan rises to 391
(08-04 16:00)

Rescuers dug through shattered homes Monday looking for survivors of a strong earthquake in southern China's Yunnan province as the death toll rose to at least 391 people with more than 1,800 injured.
About 12,000 mostly brick homes collapsed when the quake struck Sunday afternoon in impoverished Ludian county, about 370 kilometers northeast of Yunnan's capital, Kunming, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The streets of the Ludian county seat of Zhaotong were like a "battlefield after a bombardment,'' resident Ma Liya told Xinhua. She added that her neighbor's house, a new two-story building, had toppled, and said the quake was far worse than one that struck the area in 2012 and killed 81 people.
Overhead footage of the quake zone shot by state broadcaster CCTV showed older houses flattened but newer multistory buildings still standing.
"I have never felt such strong tremors before. All I can see are ruins,'' Ma said. "The aftermath is much, much worse than what happened after the quake two years ago.''
The magnitude-6.1 quake struck at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey. Its epicenter was in Ludian county township of Longtoushan. China's earthquake monitoring agency put the magnitude at 6.5.
Rain and thunderstorms were forecast for the area Monday afternoon, complicating efforts to bring tents, water, food and other relief supplies to survivors. Roads had caved in, and rescuers were forced to travel on foot. --AP
   
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