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China Quake Kills 5; Ammonia Leak Kills 15

  • VOA News

China earthquake locater map (Image Credit: USGS)

China earthquake locater map (Image Credit: USGS)

An earthquake shook a mountainous area in southwestern China Saturday, killing at least five people and forcing thousands to evacuate.

China's Xinhua news agency reported the 5.9-magnitude quake hit parts of Yunnan province and Sichuan province, and that at least 21 people were injured. The U.S. Geological Survey also said the quake had a 5.9 magnitude.

Xinhua reported the earthquake caused widespread destruction, toppling 600 homes, damaging 55,000 others, and forcing more than 9,000 people to relocate.

The state news agency said telecommunications and electricity were affected in some areas, hindering rescue efforts. Aftershocks have hit the region.

The mountainous areas in southwestern China are prone to earthquakes. Earlier this year, a quake in Sichuan province killed nearly 200 people. Nearly 90,000 people died in a powerful earthquake in Sichuan in 2008.

Shanghai ammonia leak

Officials in eastern China say a liquid ammonia leak from a refrigeration unit at a cold storage facility has killed 15 people.

Authorities say 26 people were sickened by the leak Saturday in Shanghai's Baoshan district at Weng's Cold Storage Industrial Company. Six of the injured people are said to be in critical condition.

Industrial accidents are common in China, in part due to generally lax safety and building standards.

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