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30 hurt in China quake; 700 homes leveled

BEIJING — A moderate earthquake struck southwest China on Sunday, causing about 700 homes to collapse and injuring at least 30 people.

The earthquake bureau in Yunnan Province, where the quake occurred, said three of the injured people were in serious condition.

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The official Xinhua News Agency said the 5.5 magnitude earthquake also damaged 2,500 houses.

About 55,000 people were affected by the quake, Xinhua said, citing Yunnan’s Civil Affairs Department. Supplies were on their way to the quake-hit area, including 6,000 tents.

The quake struck 32 miles from the city of Dali at a depth of 20 miles, according to the US Geological Survey. About 34 aftershocks were recorded, Xinhua said.

In a separate disaster on Sunday, Russian authorities said six teenagers were trapped in an avalanche in the Tuva region of southern Siberia.

The Emergency Situations Ministry says a distress call came in late Sunday afternoon from the remote mountain area about 60 miles north of the Mongolian border. The Interfax news agency quoted local officials as saying a 17-year-old boy who was hiking with the other teens had managed to escape.

Several dozen rescue workers were combing the avalanche zone.

It was not immediately clear what the teens were doing in the area, but Russian children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov tweeted that the youths were going to put up flags in the area as a kind of a luck charm.

In Russia last week, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake and an aftershock was recorded in the Pacific Ocean off the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. No casualties or damage were reported.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said the epicenter of Friday’s first quake was about 135 nautical miles east of the coastal city of Vilyuchinsk at a depth of 27 miles.

It was felt as a magnitude 4 tremor in the provincial capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy and nearby areas.

The ministry said the second quake in the same area had a magnitude of 5.

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