Death toll from quake in southwest China revised down to 3
AFPBEIJING--The death toll from an earthquake in southwest China has been revised down to three, according to official figures Sunday, while a report said 17 trapped bus tourists had been rescued.
September 2, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
Saturday's quake struck near the popular tourist area of Shangri-La and was initially reported to have killed five people.
But the website of the Yunnan Earthquake Prevention and Disaster Reduction Bureau reported Sunday that the toll was revised down to three due to duplicated death reports.
It said 40 people were injured, six seriously, but gave no figures for missing or trapped people.
The earthquake, on the border with Sichuan province, sparked landslides, blocked roads, trapped tourist buses, cut off communications and toppled or damaged tens of thousands of homes in the mountainous area.
The driver of a tourist bus died as falling rocks smashed into the vehicle, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday.
A total of seven tourists aboard four buses were injured by falling rocks and were being treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Xinhua said Sunday.
The China News Service reported Sunday that 17 tourists had been rescued from the buses. The reports did not reveal the nationalities of the tourists.
The 5.8-magnitude quake, which struck at 8:04 a.m. (0004 GMT), was centered on Yunnan's town of Benzilan, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was about 10 kilometers deep.
It toppled 600 homes and damaged more than 55,000 others, forcing more than 9,000 local residents to relocate, Xinhua said.
Benzilan is in Deqin county, roughly 60 kilometers from Shangri-La county, which is named after the fictional mountain paradise in the James Hilton novel “Lost Horizon.”
Local officials borrowed the name to attract more tourists to the area, which hosted around 7.6 million travelers last year.
Shangri-La itself was little affected, residents said.
More than 300 aftershocks had shaken the area, according to Xinhua.
The earthquake was the second in the area in four days, after a 5.1-magnitude quake on Wednesday.
In July twin quakes killed at least 95 people in China's western province of Gansu.
A magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Sichuan province killed about 200 people in April, five years after almost 90,000 people were killed by a huge tremor in the same province.