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Last Updated: Friday, 21 March 2008, 04:43 GMT
Strong quake hits western China
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A 7.2-magnitude earthquake has struck in Xinjiang province in north-west China.

The quake occurred at 0633 local time on Friday (2233 GMT on Thursday), according to the US Geological Survey.

The epicentre was about 140 miles (225km) south-east of Hotan city, near Yutian county, the US agency said.

Early Chinese reports of the incident had no details of casualties or damage. Xinjiang is sparsely populated, with a mainly Muslim population.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at a depth of 22.9km (14.2 miles) and reported two aftershocks - the first with a magnitude of 5.3 and the second of 5.5.

In 2003 a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in western Xinjiang killed more than 260 people and destroyed 10,000 homes.



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