November 10, 2008 / 1:54 AM / 12 years ago

Strong quake hits China's Qinghai region

BEIJING (Reuters) - A strong earthquake measuring 6.5 hit a sparsely populated area in China’s western province of Qinghai Monday, but there were no reports of deaths or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) originally put the magnitude of the quake at 6.7 but quickly revised it down to 6.5. China’s Xinhua news agency put the magnitude of the tremor at 6.3.

Buildings shook in the remote mining city of Golmud and the regional capital, Xining.

State television said there had been no reports of deaths or injuries.

“We are on the tenth floor, so I felt a very strong tremor 10 minutes ago, but there’s been no damage,” said a Xining government official who only gave her surname, Wang.

The USGS said the epicenter of the quake was 161 km (101 miles)) north-northeast of Golmud at a depth of 9.9 km. Golmud is an industrial city that is dependent upon potassium mining.

Xinhua said some mud houses in Da Qaidam, near the epicentre, had cracks in their walls and a few huts had collapsed. Schools have also been closed.

Seven mining firms in the immediate vicinity had shut as a safety precaution, the Xinhua news agency said, listing coal mines and a base metals mine.

An official at the province’s largest lead-zinc miner, Western Mining, said the company had not received any reports of damage at its mines.

Reporting by Liu Zhen; Writing by Ben Blanchard and Lucy Hornby; Editing by Ken Wills and Sanjeev Miglani

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