China

Twin quakes topple houses in North China

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BEIJING, June 2 (Reuters) - Two moderate earthquakes struck northern China on Tuesday, toppling some houses but causing no deaths or injuries, state television said.

The earthquakes measured 4.6 and 4.0 on the Richter scale and struck Dahe village in Hebei province at 9.32 am (0132 GMT) and 10.50 am (0250 GMT), the television said.

The tremors were aftershocks of a stronger quake measuring 6.2 that struck the same area of Hebei in January, television said. That earthquake killed 50 and injured 10,000.

The television did not say how many houses collapsed or were damaged, and gave no further details.

The quakes followed three minor tremors that rattled Beijing on Sunday night and early Monday morning.

The trio of small quakes prompted authorities to try to calm jittery residents by saying there was little chance of Beijing being hit by a potentially destructive quake of 5.0 or greater in the near future.

Chinese scientists have warned the country is passing through a phase of high earthquake activity, and reports of medium to powerful quakes are common, although most take place in remote and sparsely populated areas.

Last year several powerful tremors in the northwestern region of Xinjiang killed more than 50 people.

China suffered the worst earthquake in modern history when a 7.8 tremor flattened the northern city of Tangshan, killing nearly a quarter of a million people.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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