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7.1-magnitude Quake Hits Qinghai Province

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A 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit northwest China's Qinghai Province early on Wednesday, the China Earthquake Networks Center said.

There have been casualties and house collapses, said residents and witnesses near the epicenter in the Yushu County, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu.

"As far as I know, there have been human casualties," said Karsum Nyima, deputy director of the News Department of the Yushu TV.

"I saw the roof of a Buddhist pagoda in a park collapsed," he said.

"The houses here are almost all made of wood and earthen walls. Some collapsed when the quake happened," he said.

The quake struck the Yushu County at 7:49 AM with a depth of about 33 km. The epicenter is calculated to be 33.1 north and 96.7 east, the China Earthquake Networks Center reported.

The epicenter is about 30 km away from the Jiegu Township, the government seat of the Yushu prefecture.

Earlier on 5:39 AM, a 4.7-magnitude jolted the county with a depth of about 6 km, the center reported.

(Xinhua News Agency April 14, 2010)

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