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Powerful earthquake strikes China

BEIJING — At least two people were killed Saturday when a powerful earthquake jolted China’s Sichuan Province near the same area where a devastating quake struck five years ago, with state media warning the casualty toll could climb sharply.

The government’s seismological bureau said the quake hit shortly after 8 a.m. in Lushan county in the city of Ya’an, home to China’s famous pandas.

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The epicenter lies along the same Longmenshan fault where the devastating 7.9 magnitude quake struck in May 2008, leaving more than 90,000 people dead or missing and presumed dead.

The seismological bureau initially measured Friday’s quake at magnitude 7, while the US Geological Survey recorded it at 6.6 magnitude

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