1,500 affected as 5.0-magnitude quake hits Xinjiang

Updated: 2015-01-11 06:22


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URUMQI - A 5.0-magnitude earthquake has damaged houses and affected over 1,500 residents in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, local authorities said.

No casualties have been reported so far. The quake struck at 2:50 pm Saturday (Beijing Time), with the epicenter detected at 40.2 degrees north latitude and 77.3 degrees east longitude and the focal depth at 10 km, the China Earthquake Networks Center said.

The epicenter, Karajol Township in the city of Atux, Kirgiz autonomous prefecture of Kizilsu, has reported 51 damaged houses and 1,508 affected residents, who are being relocated to homes of their relatives', the local government sites and clinics, said Atux mayor Ababakeri Mametmin.

Tents, stoves and other relief materials have arrived at the affected areas, he said.

The Kizilsu prefecture is located in the west end of Xinjiang. There are about 20 villages less than 30 kilometers away from the epicenter. Some old houses were "moderately damaged" in the tremor, according to the regional seismological bureau.

Zhi Hao, party secretary of Karajol, said 17,499 people live in the township, which covers an area of 8,452 square kilometers. The scattered settlement of many herdsmen has created difficulties for casualty and damage counting and rescue efforts.

The regional government has sent a work team to the affected areas.