China quake kills 54

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 22, 2013 12:51 hrs

At least 54 people were killed as an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter Scale ripped through a juncture region of two counties in northwest China's Gansu Province on Monday, reports said.

The earthquake occurred at 7.45 a.m. (local time) at the junction of the Minxian County and Zhangxian County.

More than 300 people were injured in the quake.

"As of noon on Monday, 371 aftershocks had been recorded in the quake-hit region, with the strongest measuring 5.6 magnitude," China´s Xinhua news agency reported.

Communication was reportedly cut off in 13 towns of Zhangxian County.

The epicenter of the quake, which was located at a depth of 20 km, was monitored at 34.5 degrees north latitude and 104.2 degrees east longitude, the China Earthquake Networks Center told Xinhua.

Most of the townships in Minxian County, and townships of Meichuan as well as Puma have been badly hit by the quake.

More than over 1,200 homes have collapsed due to the quake, reports said.

"Armed police, firefighters and more than 300 local militiamen have been dispatched to the quake-hit region to help with rescue efforts. The provincial civil affairs department has sent 500 tents and 2,000 quilts," Xinhua reported.

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