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Chengdu Airport in SW China Closed Following Major Earthquake

The airport in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, was closed to flights on Monday afternoon following a major earthquake in the region, and all domestic flights headed for that airport were being diverted, local aviation staff said.

Staff at Jiangbei Airport in Chongqing, the biggest industrial city in western China, said five flights originally destined for Chengdu were diverted to the Chongqing airport as of 4:30 PM and more were expected.

A number of flights at the Chongqing airport were postponed because of the earthquake, they said.

A quake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted Wenchuan County of Sichuan at 2:28 PM on Monday, the State Seismological Bureau (SSB) said.

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

At least five people have been reported dead in the quake.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2008)

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