Kazakhstan quake affects 20,000 in NW China

Updated: 2013-01-30 16:14:00

(Xinhua)

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URUMQI, January 30 (Xinhua) -- More than 20,000 residents of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region were affected by a strong quake that hit Kazakhstan early Tuesday, local authorities said Wednesday.

The quake damaged 7,458 houses and destroyed 216 others, affecting a total of 20,421 people in the Kazak Autonomous Prefecture of Ili in northern Xinjiang, according to prefectural authorities.

The prefecture suffered direct economic losses of 60 million yuan (9.55 million U.S. dollars) due to the quake.

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Kazakhstan at 12:38 a.m. Tuesday, according to the China Earthquake Network Center.

The quake also damaged sewage facilities, 1,000 houses and four schools in the city of Aksu in southern Xinjiang, causing direct economic losses of 40 million yuan.

Disaster relief efforts are under way.