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7.8 Richter scale earthquake hits Sichuan
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An underground water pipe was broken underneath a viaduct close to Chengdu's southern railway station, and the downtown Changshou Road was drowned. No emergency repairs vehicle has arrived by press time.

The mobile telecommunications network remains in failure in Chengdu and Chongqing Municipality.

Xinhua reporter Hai Mingwei said his apartment was in a mess, with the water pipe in the washing machine broken and water flooded the floor. "Bottles of drinks were also broken and the liquid was everywhere," he said. He and his parents escaped from home and joined crowds of people on the street.

When the quake hit, Hai said the ground became uneven. "For a moment I thought I was dizzy and dared not walk."

Many parts of China, even the remote southern island province of Hainan, and Bangkok of Thailand, felt the quake.

In Zhengzhou, capital of central Henan Province, people rushed out of homes and offices.

Many said they felt dizzy and saw the ceiling light fixtures swinging back and forth.

In Lanzhou, capital of the northwestern Gansu Province, the quake set off alarms of many parked cars by the roadside.

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

A retiree in Leshan City, Sichuan Province, said in a telephone interview that a wall in her garden had collapsed, while a repairman in Chongqing saw the ceiling of his factory crumble and raised the alarm among the staff, who quickly left the building.

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

No casualties have been reported yet.

Maowen, a neighboring county of Wenchuan, was hit by an quake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale in 1933, which claimed more than 9,000 lives. Songpan and Pingwu in the northwest of Sichuan Province were hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 in 1976.

A major earthquake measuring 7.8 Richter Scale jolted Wenchuan County of Southwest China's Sichuan province at 2:28 p.m. on Monday. The quake was also felt in the capital city of Beijing and Xinhua reporters in Zhengzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing also reported major tremors at around 2 p.m. Monday.

A major earthquake measuring 7.6 Richter Scale jolted Wenchuan County of Southwest China's Sichuan province at 2:28 p.m. on Monday.

(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2008)


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