Two Earthquakes Shake Up China

Several strong earthquakes shook northwest and southwest China, leaving at least two people dead, local officials and seismologists have said.

Both the Qinghai province in the northwest and southwestern Yunnan province are prone to earthquakes. Both quakes were shallow and likely to cause more damage.

The 6.1 magnitude Yunnan quake struck first at 9:48 pm Friday (1348 UTC) near the city of Dali, a popular tourist destination, the US Geological Survey said. It was followed by at least two aftershocks, USGS said.

Two people were confirmed dead in the mountainous area, local officials said in a statement, adding that at least 17 others had been injured and were receiving treatment.

Later, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 shook northwestern China in the early hours of Saturday.

The earthquake occurred in the sparsely populated Qinghai province and struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to the seismic network Geofon in Potsdam, Germany.

Aftershocks followed, with magnitudes of 4.8 and 4.5, respectively.

Students of a high school take refuge on the playground in Maqin County of Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai Province

People sought safety at a school’s outdoor sports field

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the remote area. State news agency Xinhua said the epicenter was located in Maduo County.

The two quakes were not related, USGS geophysicist Jonathan Tytell told the AP news agency.

China is regularly hit by earthquakes, especially in its mountainous western and southwestern regions.

In 2010, a 6.9-magnitude quake in Qinghai left 3,000 people dead or missing.

In October 2014, hundreds of people were injured and more than 100,000 displaced after a 6.0-magnitude tremor hit Yunnan, close to China’s borders with Myanmar and Laos.

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