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Quake destroys 20,000 homes, injures 12
Updated: 2004-10-20 01:14

An earthquake has rocked a densely populated city in southwestern China, destroying more than 20,000 houses,  but killing no one, a local official said on Wednesday.

Twelve people were injured, one critically, in the tremor early on Tuesday morning, Xinhua news agency said, adding that tents had been provided for the homeless. Traffic had resumed and the communication system was under repair.

A local resident points at the ruins after an earthquake measuring 5.0 on Richter scale hit the area early Tuesday. [Xinhua]

The earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale hit Baoshan, a densely-populated city, at 6:11 a.m. The epicenter of the quake was at Hanzhuang Town, about ten kilometers off downtown Baoshan.

It was strongly felt in both downtown and suburban areas including Changning, Shidian, Tengchong and Longling counties.

The collapsed buildings were mainly mud-built homes but included schools and some 1,000 students had to stay at home.

"We suffered a 4-scale aftershock and we're now evaluating the damage," the official said, adding that he had heard of only five people injured.

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