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Quake Wrecks Southwest China Homes February 4, 2011
Quake Map of China
A relatively moderate quake damaged hundreds of homes Tuesday afternoon in southwest China’s Yunnan province, near the border with Myanmar.

State media reports 229 homes were seriously damaged in the Dehong region, but there was no mention of any fatalities.

The U.S. Geological Survey said that the 4.8 magnitude quake occurred at 3:11 p.m. local time about 150 miles west-southwest of Dali, Yunnan.

Seismologists said that the shallow depth of only about 12 miles was responsible for the extent of damage from such a moderate quake.

The strong shaking had forced the emergency evacuation of 64,500 people by Tuesday night, according to a statement by the county government.

Local authorities reportedly sent relief teams and materials to ensure a “merry and safe Spring Festival,” or Chinese Lunar New Year, in the quake-hit region. The Spring Festival fell on Thursday, February 3, less than two days after the quake.

China frequently experiences major earthquakes. Nearly 3,000 people perished or were reported missing after a powerful temblor jolted the northwest of the country last year.

In 2008, a catastrophic earthquake in Sichuan province killed at least 80,000 people.