Two people were confirmed dead and three others were injured in a 5.0-magnitude earthquake that shook southwest China's Sichuan Province early Wednesday, the local government said on Thursday.
The quake, an aftershock following the 8.0-magnitude earthquake of May 12, toppled the roof of a coal mine in Guangyuan City, killing two miners, said Jia Quande, an official with the city's emergency management office.
"Seven miners were working in the pit of the Tongmukeng Coal Mine in the Chaotian District of Guangyuan and five escaped without injury," Jia said in a telephone interview.
In Lizhou District, three residents were slightly injured as they fled their homes, he said.
No casualties were reported at the epicenter in Qingchuan County, but 13 houses collapsed, said Jia.
The quake was recorded at 2:53 a.m. Wednesday, at 32.6 degrees north latitude and 105.4 east longitude, at a depth of about 15 km, the China Earthquake Administration said on its website.
Qingchuan, with a population of 250,000, is a suburban county of Guangyuan City. It's in the north of Sichuan Province and borders the northwestern provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi.
The county has experienced near-constant tremors and aftershocks since the earthquake of May 12, including nine apparent aftershocks of more than 3.0-magnitude since Nov. 1.
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2008)