Two earthquakes kill at least 64


Two shallow 5.6-magnitude earthquakes hit mountainous southwestern China yesterday, killing at least 64 people and forcing tens of thousands of people from damaged buildings, state media said.

The quakes struck near the border of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, the first one at 11.19am and the second 45 minutes later, the US Geological Survey said.

About 700 people were injured and 20,000 homes damaged in the remote region, about 350km (210 miles) from the Yunnan provincial capital Kunming, the official Xinhua news agency said. State media reported premier Wen Jiabao would travel to the area, as he has often done when disasters strike Chinese regions.

President Hu Jintao called for disaster relief to be dispatched to the area. – (Reuters)