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Quake in China causes severe damage

September 7, 2012 — On Friday, a series of earthquakes in southwestern China killed at least 64 people and injured more than 700 others.

More than 700,000 people had their lives disrupted by the quake
More than 700,000 people had their lives disrupted by the quake

Almost 30,000 homes were damaged and more than 100,000 people were evacuated when four quakes struck near the border of the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou.

Their magnitudes reached between 4.8 and 5.6 at a depth of 10 kilometres.

The southwestern region of China is prone to earthquakes. 

In May 2008, a magnitude 7.9 quake in Sichuan province caused widespread devastation, killing at least 69,000 people. 

Friday's quakes were relatively shallow, about 10 kilometres deep, which created an intense shaking even at a lower magnitude.

By comparison, earlier this week a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Costa Rica was 40 kilometres below the surface, but due to strict building codes damage and deaths were kept to a minimum. 

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