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China Earthquake: 5.5 Magnitude Quake Jolts Xinjiang

Authorities say a 5.5-magnitude earthquake jolted north-west China’s Xinjiang region Monday, damaging a number of small homes in the remote and sparsely-populated area.

According to, the quake, which struck Ruoqiang County in the Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin at 1:33 pm and had a depth of nearly five miles, damaged some houses in the county’s Lop Nur Township but caused no injuries or deaths.

“Although the quake was strongly felt in the township, no casualties have been reported so far,” Liu Wenchun, secretary of the township committee of the Communist Party of China, told the state-run news agency Xinhua.

Wenchun added that workers with the Lop Nur township government are inspecting the damage to the houses. Only about 1,000 people live in the area, according to Xinhua.

USA Today notes that Xinjiang, located in the northwest part of China, is one of the country’s most seismically active regions, experiencing dozens of moderate to strong quakes per year.

China’s deadliest quake in recent years struck to the south in the province of Sichuan in 2008. That massive magnitude-7.9 quake left 90,000 people dead or missing, including thousands of students whose schools collapsed.

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