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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 August, 2004, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Quake flattens Chinese homes
damage from an earthquake in Ludiun County, 10/08/04
The clear-up will take a lot of time
More than 125,000 people have been left homeless after an earthquake hit south-west China, killing at least four people and injuring hundreds.

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck Ludian County in Yunnan province on Tuesday evening.

It flattened nearly 20,000 houses and left hospitals overwhelmed, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Those affected are now living in tents, prompting fears about their exposure to summer rainstorms.

On Thursday, rescue teams continued searching for survivors in the worst-hit areas of Taoyuan and Buga, 255km (410 miles) north of the provincial capital Kunming.

A local official, Deng Xianpei, told Xinhua that the area needed relief funds, materials and medicines.

The earthquake's epicentre was 255km (160 miles) north of Kunming, Xinhua said.

It was the third major earthquake to hit Ludian County within a year, according to the agency.

Two quakes measuring 5.1 and 5.0 on the Richter scale hit the area last November, killing four people and injuring 120.

The BBC's Fiona Werge
"Thousands of homes collapsed into heaps of rubble when the earthquake struck"

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26 Feb 03  |  Asia-Pacific
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24 Feb 03  |  In Depth

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