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At least 6 dead after earthquake hits China’s Xinjiang

Magnitude 6.5 strikes predominantly ethnic Uighur Muslim Pishan county

03.07.2015 - Update : 03.07.2015
At least 6 dead after earthquake hits China’s Xinjiang


At least six people have been killed and more than 45 others injured after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, according to local media.

The China Earthquake Administration said the fatalities were recorded in the epicenter county of Pishan after the earthquake struck at 9.07 a.m. (0207GMT) Friday, causing an airport in Hotan prefecture to shut down.

Some buildings in the area collapsed or suffered damage while communication was disrupted after the tremor, state news agency Xinhua reported, citing Hotan’s Communist Party of China committee.

The China Earthquake Networks Center said the tremor occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

Li Hua, an employee of a state-owned farm in Pishan, said he had felt the quake strongly from his fourth floor home, with the shaking lasting for around a minute.

"I'm feeling dizzy," he told Xinhua.

Chinese authorities have issued a grade IV emergency response – the lowest emergency alert in the country – following the incident, meaning that daily damage reports will be conducted and money and relief materials distributed over 48 hours.

The Center also recorded several minor tremors measuring between magnitude 3.0 and 4 after the strong quake in Pishan -- whose 258,000 population is predominantly ethnic Uighur Muslims.

A level-II emergency response has been issued.

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