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81 Dead in Twin China Quakes

A series of earthquakes over the weekend has left at least 81 dead and hundreds of injured in southwestern China.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 9/9/2012, 1:42 PM

Survivors of China earthquakes
Survivors of China earthquakes
Reuters

A series of earthquakes over the weekend has left at least 81 dead and hundreds of injured in southwestern China.

More than 800 were hurt and even more were left homeless as aftershocks terrified residents and hampered efforts to help them.

The first 5.6-magnitude quake struck Friday at about 11:30 a.m. local time, with the epicenter about two miles away from Jiaokui town in Yiliang county. The area is near the border between Yunan and Guizhou provinces, one of China's poorest.

A temblor of similar magnitude struck a short time later. 

By 12:00 noon Sunday, the Yunan seismological bureau reported there had been 279 aftershocks.

Many of the victims have no shelter and are still waiting for supplies, local officials told reporters.

Thousands of homes were crushed as boulders went bouncing across fields and roads. More than 300 elementary and high school were damaged.

At least 200,000 people were evacuated from their villages. Most had to fend for themselves, with only 11,000 tents available to house survivors, according to the Xinhua news agency.