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Xinjiang Earthquake Causes Limited Damage
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No casualties have been reported after the magnitude-5.1 earthquake which jolted China's northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Thursday, although the walls of at least 60 houses cracked in the tremor, according to local sources.

No rifts have been spotted on the ground, said local experts.

The epicenter of the quake, which occurred at 7:04 p.m. on Thursday, was located in a mountainous area at latitude 44.2 degrees north and longitude 83.5 degrees east. It was strongly felt in the cities of Usu, Kyutun and Yining, all in northern parts of Xinjiang.

But experts believe another lower magnitude earthquake is likely to hit the region, as historical data show that two earthquakes often occur there at short intervals.

The local government has built earthquake-proof houses for the 66 households affected by the earthquake and is urging villagers to move as soon as possible.

Usu, on the belt of the northern Tianshan Mountain slope, is about 260 km from Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, and has a population of 210,000.

It plays an important economic role in northern Xinjiang.

(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2006)

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