3 injured in central China quake

Updated: 2013-12-16 19:35


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WUHAN - Three people were injured after a 5.1-magnitude earthquake jolted a county in Central China's Hubei province Monday afternoon, local authorities said.

The quake hit the mountainous Badong county in Enshi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture at 1:04 pm, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The epicenter, with a depth of 5 km, was located at 31.1 degrees north latitude and 110.4 degrees east longitude, the center said in a statement.

Two of the injured were sent to a local hospital and no deaths were reported as of 4:45 pm, according to the publicity department of the prefecture.

A total of 79 homes were toppled and 1,543 others were severely damaged as a result of the quake, resulting in overall losses of approximately 16 million yuan ($2.6 million), the department said.

The quake was felt by local residents and people in the neighboring cities of Yichang, Xiangyang and Shiyan.

Residents in Badong County gathered at the largest square in the county after the quake to avoid being affected by aftershocks and quake-triggered landslides.

A woman, surnamed Lu, living in the county seat of Badong, said she was scared when the pendant lamp and ceiling fan in her neighbor's room fell down. Schools in the county suspended classes in the wake of the earthquake, she added.

The Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydropower project, which is located more than 100 km from the epicenter, remained intact and was operating normally after the earthquake, said Hu Xing'e, vice head of the management bureau of the project with the China Three Gorges Corporation.

Rescuers and firefighters are rushing to the quake-hit region. Further verification of the earthquake's impact is under way.