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Earthquake Kills 18 in Southwestern China


China says at least 18 people have been killed after moderate earthquake hit a mountainous area in southwest China's Yunnan province.

The official Xinhua news agency says the 5.1-magnitude earthquake shook Yunnan's Yanjin county Saturday morning. The epicenter of the quake was about 90 kilometers from Zhaotong city.

Rescue teams have been deployed to the area, where large rocks tumbled down from hills onto residential areas. At least 56 houses were reported destroyed in the quake.

At least 60 people were injured. They have been taken to hospitals for treatment.

Experts with a local seismological bureau told Xinhua that houses in Yanjin were built mostly near hillsides, making them vulnerable to earthquakes. Yanjin is a county on the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau with a population of 350,000 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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