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Earthquake jolts area near Lhasa, killing at least 9
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The famous Bargor Street was as bustling as usual.

The Qinghai-Tibet railway and Lhasa airport remained in normal services.

"The downtown area of Lhasa is relatively safe and there is no need to be panic," Zhu Quan, head of the local seismological bureau, told Xinhua.

Tibet earthquake

A local farmer checks the damaged building in Gedar Township of Damxung County in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Oct. 6, 2008. [Xinhua]

More aftershocks may hit Damxung but would not cause damages to buildings in the downtown area, Zhu said.

The quake was measured at level VIII on the 12-level MMI (modified mercalli intensity) scale in the epicenter and it was felt at level V in Lhasa, Zhu said at a press conference.

The MMI scale measures the intensity of an earthquake from its perceptible effects with level V indicating it could be felt by everyone and could break windows. At level VIII, a quake can result in partial collapse of ordinary buildings.

"I was shaken for a few seconds, and lamps in the office swayed. Then everything returned to normal," Xinhua reporter Xue Wenxian said.

Classes ended early in some schools in Lhasa.

The national seismological network recorded another earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter Scale in the county at 8:10 p.m. Monday. The regional earthquake monitoring network said it had observed 15 aftershocks.

An emergency response scheme was launched across the region soon after the quake broke out. The local government has sent a working team to guide relief operation in the quake-hit areas.

The rescue headquarters asked relative authorities to release quake information to the public in time.

Another 6.8-magnitude earthquake shook Tibet's neighboring region of Xinjiang on Sunday, but no casualties have yet been reported.

The quake hit at 11:52 p.m., with its epicenter at 39.6 degrees north and 73.9 degrees east in a mountainous area about 100 km from the county seat of Wuqia, Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture.

Xinjiang earthquake monitoring network said it had observed 196aftershocks as of 1:30 p.m. on Monday, including two above magnitude 5.

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