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Dozens Killed in Southwest China Quake March 11, 2011
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At least 24 people perished on Thursday when a 5.8 magnitude temblor struck southwest China’s Yunnan province, near the border with Myanmar.

The country’s official Xinhua news agency reports that the shaking toppled approximately 1,200 houses and apartment buildings, injuring hundreds more.

Buildings buckled under the force of the quake, trapping many people in the rubble.

Xinhua said that parts of a supermarket and a hotel caved in, and sidewalks were lined with injured lying on blankets.

The quake struck as many people, including students, were at home enjoying the traditional midday rest.

Seismologists say the temblor was centered only 6 miles beneath Yingjiang county and struck just before 1 p.m. local time. The U.S. Geological Survey determined the quake had a magnitude of 5.4 and struck much deeper at 21 miles below the surface.

Xinhua describes the geology of the area as a quake-prone belt that has experienced more than 1,000 tremors in recent months.

A 4.8 magnitude quake in the same area on February 1 damaged more than 200 homes. In June 2007, a 6.4 magnitude quake killed three people and wrecked nearly 100,000 homes in eastern Yunnan provinces' tea-growing region.