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Earthquake Measuring 7.8 Richter Scale Hits SW China

A major earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted Wenchuan County of southwest China's Sichuan Province at 2:28 PM on Monday, the State Seismological Bureau said, revising a previous figure of 7.6.

A major earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale jolted Wenchuan County of southwest China's  the State Seismological Bureau said.

The epicenter of the quake was located 31.0 degrees north latitude and 103.4 degrees east longitude, the bureau said.

With a population of 111,800, Wenchuan lies in southeast part of the Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba, 146 km to the northwest of Chengdu, provincial capital of Sichuan.

An earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale jolted Tongzhou District in east Beijing at 2:35 PM on Monday. The quake's epicenter was located 39.8 north latitude and 116.8 east longitude, according to the State Seismological Bureau. 

Xinhua reporters in many other parts of China also reported tremors. Reporters in Chengdu said they saw cracks on walls of some residential buildings in the downtown areas, but no building collapsed.

The telecom networks in Chengdu and Chongqing cities broken down for a while after the quake. People complained they were unable to have phone calls on the fixed line or the mobile.

The quake was also felt in Zhengzhou, capital of central Henan Province, where people rushed out of homes and offices and took to the streets.

Many said they felt dizzy and saw the pendant lamps on their ceilings swinging back and forth.

In Lanzhou, capital of the northwest China's Gansu Province, the quake sent many parked cars by the roadside buzzing.

Xinhua reporters in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, said they felt the office building rocking back and forth for about four minutes.

A retiree in Leshan City of Sichuan Province said over the telephone that a wall in her garden collapsed, while a repairman in Chongqing saw the ceiling of his factory shamble and alarmed the staff, who soon left the building.

In Shanghai, people were evacuated from office buildings in Hongqiao and Nanjing Road.

No casualty was reported yet.

(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2008)

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