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Nine Injured in N.W. China Quake
   2016-01-21 16:47:38    Xinhua      Web Editor: Mao Yaqing

A wall is damaged at quake-hit Beishan Township in Menyuan County of Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai Province, Jan. 21, 2016. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit Menyuan County on early Thursday morning. The earthquake has damaged 54 houses, but caused no casualties. [Photo: Xinhua/Wu Gang]

Nine people were injured when a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck northwest China's Qinghai Province, leaving cracks on village houses and sending frightened residents out into a freezing Thursday morning.

The tremors were felt in Menyuan Hui Autonomous County at 1:13 a.m., followed by over 500 aftershocks, the strongest measured at 3.9 magnitude, said county head Huang Jicheng.

Nine people sustained minor injuries requiring medical attention. The quakes damaged 600 houses, including 400 that will need to be rebuilt. More than 700 tents have been sent to the affected region. Economic losses are expected to reach 76 million yuan (11.5 mln U.S. dollars).

The epicenter was in an unpopulated area, 33 kilometers from the county seat. Telecom services and traffic in the county remain normal. Witnesses say many scared local residents have run outdoors and some stay in cars, despite a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius.

Dong Jinming, Party chief of Menyuan county, said 90 percent of the county's rural houses had been recently renovated, helping avoid loss of life.

The tremors were felt 150 km away in Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, and in the neighboring Gansu Province.

"I was waken up from sleep by a jolt," said a man surnamed Han in Xining, "The table and the closets were all shaking violently, so I got dressed and ran outside."

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