Updated: 04/06/2014 02:19 | By Agence France-Presse

Shallow 5.3-magnitude quake jolts southwest China

A shallow 5.3 quake struck southwest China Saturday, sending terrified residents running from their homes as dozens of houses collapsed and injuring at least 25 people, state media reported.

Shallow 5.3-magnitude quake jolts southwest China

A 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck southwest China Saturday, the US Geological Survey says, with authorities checking for damage - by Frederick Florin

The tremor in Yunnan province, near the border with Sichuan, hit at 6.40 am (2240 GMT on Friday) at a depth of 13 kilometres (eight miles), Xinhua news agency said, citing the China Earthquake Networks Center.

Residents ran out of their homes after they were woken up by the quake which caused 20 houses to collapse, Xinhua reported, adding that at least five of the injured were in serious condition.

"We felt the quake strongly, but it did not last long," said a local resident.

The US Geological Survey put the depth of the quake at 26 kilometres with a magnitude of 5.4.

Authorities are checking the losses caused by the tremor, an official told Xinhua. 

The agency reported that 21,000 people were relocated due to the quake.

Rumours began spreading that the quake was caused by the nearby Xiluodu hydropower station, 15 kilometres from the quake's epicentre, the news agency said.

Southwest China is prone to earthquakes, with a quake in the Yunnan tourist area of Shangri-La killing three people in September last year and leaving 55,000 homes damaged.

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Sichuan province killed about 200 people in April 2013, five years after almost 90,000 people were killed by a huge tremor in the same province.

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