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No local tourist groups in China's quake-hit Yunnan

TAIPEI--Taiwan's Tourism Bureau said yesterday that no tour groups from the country were reported to be traveling in China's Yunnan province, which was hit by two shallow tremors earlier in the day.

No tour groups from Taiwan were traveling in the quake areas, but assistance will be provided if any Taiwanese individual requires help, said the bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Two shallow 5.7-magnitude earthquakes in Yunnan province killed at least 43 people and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate damaged buildings, China's official Xinhua News Agency said.

About 700,000 people were affected and 20,000 homes damaged, Xinhua said.

Most of the affected people were from the province's Yiliang, Daguan counties and Zhaoyang District, near the epicenter of the quakes, which struck at a depth of about 14 kilometers.

Roget Hsu, secretary-general of the Travel Agent Association of the Republic of China, said the earthquake-hit areas are less popular destinations with Taiwanese tourists, especially in the current off-peak travel season.

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