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5.1-magnitude quake jolts Urumqi

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-30 15:53

URUMQI - A 5.1-magnitude earthquake jolted Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Northwest China, at 1:27 pm Friday Beijing Time, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The epicenter, with a depth of 12 km, was monitored at 43.8 degrees north latitude and 87.6 degrees east longitude, the center said.

"I was buying shawls at the International Grand Bazaar and saw people rushing out of it crazily. I ran after them and felt the quake," said a tourist surnamed Cao.

He added that people calmed down afterwards and were heading back to the bazaar.

The quake was also felt by residents of Tianshan District of downtown Urumqi. A resident surnamed He said he saw children and the elderly staying outdoors as they were afraid to go back into the buildings.

Some kindergartens in the city have organized emergency evacuation and notified parents to pick up their children as soon as possible.

According to some local residents, telecommunication might be temporarily interrupted as they could not make phone calls for a time.

The earthquake was also felt 500 km away from Urumqi, in Korla, capital city of Bayingolin Mongol autonomous prefecture.

As of 2 pm, the emergency response headquarters of the regional seismological bureau has dispatched three teams to survey the scene.

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