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Quake destroys houses, shakes buildings in Xinjiang

By Cui Jia in Urumqi | | Updated: 2017-08-09 10:26

Quake destroys houses, shakes buildings in Xinjiang

Rescue work is under way in Jinghe county, Bortala Mongol autonomous prefecture of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Aug 9. [Photo provided to]

Many people in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region were woken up by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake at 7:27 am on Wednesday.

The epicenter of the quake was near Jinghe county, Bortala Mongol autonomous prefecture, about 37 kilometers from the county seat of Jinghe. Three villages are located within 10 kilometers of the center.

Thirty-two people in Jinghe county were injured in the quake, seven of them seriously, as of 11:37 am Wednesday; 142 houses collapsed and 1,060 houses sustained damages, according to authorities of the autonomous region. But no deaths were reported.

Although the epicenter was about 383 kilometers from the regional capital of Urumqi, many people in the city felt its power.

"I was asleep and I suddenly felt my bed move from side to side. I also felt the building swinging. I soon realized it was an earthquake," said Qiu Jin, 28.

When he checked his phone he found many of his friends had shared the same experience on social media. "Many wanted to know if the earthquake in Xinjiang was related to the one that rocked Jiuzhaigou on Tuesday evening," he said.

People in Ily Kazak autonomous prefecture, which borders with Bortala, felt the earthquake even stronger. "The house was shaking for at least 30 seconds. I can heard the roaring sound coming out of the earth," said Zhao Xiao in Ily city.

Two houses collapsed in Ily Kazak autonomous prefecture and 544 others were damaged.

Others in Karamay, Shihezi and Changji in Xinjiang also said they felt the earthquake.

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