An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale has struck the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, killing at least three people and seriously injuring several more. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake occurred at 0004 GMT on Saturday near the popular tourist area of Shangri-La. The quake was centered on Benzilan town in Yunnan province on the border with Sichuan province, USGS said. The USGS measured the quake at a depth of 20 kilometers.
"During the earthquake this morning, the swaying the county felt was relatively severe," Xinhua quoted Liao Wencai, deputy party secretary of Deqin County, as saying.Benzilan is in Deqin County, approximately 60 kilometers from Shangri-La County. In July, a devastating earthquake in China's northwest Gansu Province killed at least 95 people and injured over 500 others. The worst of China's earthquakes in recent years happened on May 12, 2008 in Sichuan province, where about 70,000 people lost their lives and at least 4.8 million people were displaced. The 8-magnitude earthquake in Sichuan was the deadliest to strike China since the 1976 quake in Tangshan, known as the Great Tangshan Earthquake, which claimed the lives of 240,000 people. IA/HN