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Powerful China quake kills 10


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BEIJING, China (CNN) -- A powerful earthquake has shaken western China's Xinjiang region leaving at least 10 people dead, state media reports.

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Thirty-four people were reported injured and more than 700 houses fell, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake jolted remote Zhaosu county about 2985 km (1860 miles) northwest of Beijing, at 9:38 a.m. Monday (0138GMT), causing more than 700 homes to collapse, reports said.

According to the U.S. National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), the quake was slightly less powerful, with a magnitude of 5.7,

The epicenter was located in a sparsely populated area about 2985 km (1860 miles) northwest of Beijing between Yining, China and Karakol, Kyrgyzstan, the NEIC Web site said.

For people living in the area the quake struck early in the day.

China has just one timezone, eight hours ahead of GMT, meaning that at this time of year 9:38 in the morning is not long after sunrise.

Xinhua, quoting local officials, said that as of Monday afternoon at least 10 people were confirmed dead.

"All county officials are on the scene investigating the aftermath and organizing the rescue efforts," a county official told CNN.

Xinhua said officials have evacuated residents and canceled schools in affected areas.

A team of experts from the seismology bureau in the provincial capital of Urumqi have also been sent to the scene to monitor the situation.

Xinjiang, a seismically active area, was the site of the most lethal quake in China this year -- a magnitude 6.8 quake on February 24 that killed 268 people.


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