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4 killed, 23 injured in magnitude 5 earthquake in southwestern China

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A magnitude 5 earthquake in southwestern China has killed 4 people and injured 23, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The temblor in Yunnan province’s Qiaojia county struck at 9:47 p.m. Monday at a relatively shallow depth of 8 kilometres (5 miles).

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The U.S. Geological Survey listed the quake at 4.5 magnitude and a depth of 10 kilometres (6 miles), while giving slightly different data on the time it struck and the location of the epicenter. Such discrepancies are not unusual given the vast distances involved.

At least one house collapsed and residents said the shaking went on for several seconds. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage to buildings and infrastructure.

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Earthquakes occur frequently in the area, which lies in the eastern slope of the Tibetan plateau.

A 1976 earthquake centred in the northeastern city of Tangshan killed at least 250,000 people.

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China’s worst earthquake in recent years struck the mountainous western portion of Sichuan province to the north of Yunnan in 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people.

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