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Students, tourists affected in SW China quake

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-09-01 21:22

DEQEN, Yunnan - Some 109 schools and 60,000 students in southwest China's Yunnan province have been affected by an earthquake that hit the junction area of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, according to local authorities on Sunday.

All 109 schools in Deqen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture have been ordered to suspend the opening of autumn term, which will affect nearly 60,000 students, the prefecture's education bureau said.

A total of 14 schools were damaged in Deqen Tibetan Autonomous prefecture in the 5.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Deqen and Shangri-La counties in Yunnan and Derong County in Sichuan Province on Saturday morning, leaving five people died and 29 others injured.

The prefectural education authorities have urged maintaining stability and safety on campus and the exact time when schools begin is not yet known.

Tourists evacuated

About 300 tourists are being evacuated from two counties in Southwest China's Yunnan province after earthquakes hit the province on Wednesday and Saturday, tourism officials said Sunday.

Falling rocks injured seven tourists aboard four coach buses after a 5.9-magnitude quake struck the Yunnan-Sichuan border area in the counties of Shangri-La and Deqen in Yunnan province and Derong county in Sichuan province at 8:04 am Saturday, said Yu Fan, deputy director of the Yunnan Provincial Tourism Development Committee.

The injured are being treated at a local hospital in Shangri-La county and their injuries are not life-threatening, Yu said.

Five people were confirmed dead in the quake.

On Wednesday, a 5.1-magnitude quake caused falling rocks and disrupted road traffic, leaving 51 tourists stranded at the scenic spot of Balagezong in Yunnan.

All tourists had been evacuated from Balagezong as of Saturday morning, but more than 380 scenic spot staff, construction workers and villagers remain stranded following the second quake, Yu said.

So far, a three-kilometer section of the 17 km road leading to Balagezong has been cleared, and it is expected to take another two days before traffic can resume, said Li Liangbing, an armed police officer who was working to remove the rocks.

The earthquakes also cut off power supply to more than 42,000 residents, and so far nearly 90 percent of the affected power supply has been restored, according to the Yunnan provincial power grid company.

The Yunnan Provincial Government has allocated 20 million yuan ($3.2 million) for quake relief and other related work, according to a government press release late Saturday.

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