Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 13:09 UK

Three killed in China aftershock

Map showing Sichuan province

Three people were killed and thousands of houses destroyed by a powerful aftershock in China's Sichuan province.

The 6.0 quake struck near Guangyuan City at 1800 (1000GMT) on Tuesday.

Two people died in the town of Yaodu, and another in neighbouring Gansu province, Xinhua news agency said. At least 35 people were injured.

The aftershock is one of thousands to hit the area since the devastating earthquake in May which left almost 70,000 people dead.

Water and power supplies were cut off in Yaodu, and communication facilities were also damaged, the agency said. More than 3,200 houses collapsed in the region.

Another person died and six were injured in Gansu province's Wenxian County, the agency quoted a provincial official as saying.

Officials are working to assess the damage and help those affected by the aftershock.

The quake came a few hours after the Olympic torch was paraded through Sichuan's provincial capital, Chengdu, the last leg of its journey before it returned to Beijing for the opening ceremony.

Major reconstruction efforts have been under way in Sichuan province since the 12 May earthquake, which left about five million people homeless.

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