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Earthquake rocks China, officials say

BEIJING, China -- The second earthquake in three days in south-west China has killed at least two people, and injured at least 190 more.

Damage is said to be extensive from the magnitude 5.9 quake in the province of Yunnan, near China's border with Myanmar.

According to emergency relief officials in Shidian, 30,000 homes have been destroyed, and tents have been set up for the homeless.

Chronology of major earthquakes in the last 20 years

Xinhua news agency said the quake occurred at 6.46 p.m. local time (5:46 a.m. ET).

Hrvoje Tkalcic, with the Berkeley Seismology Lab in the U.S., said a quake of that size is considered to be "moderate."

Below is an interactive guide to earthquake magnitude and severity:


Another earthquake on Tuesday registered a magnitude of 5.2.

Landslides triggered by the latest quake have closed roads in the region, complicating efforts to reach damaged villages.

The quake-stricken area had a population of some 320,000 people, mostly Yi and Muslim Hui ethnic minorities.

Ruggedly mountainous Yunnan province, like neighboring Sichuan to the north and Tibet to the west, is frequently shaken by earthquakes. The quake-prone areas are sparsely populated.

In February, three people died and 20,000 people were left homeless when a remote area of Sichuan was hit by a tremor measuring 6.0.

The region was populated mainly by ethnic Tibetans living in low wooden houses.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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