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Earthquake rattles Sichuan, Yunnan provinces

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An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter
scale shook southwest China this afternoon at 4:30 pm. According to initial reports, the earthquake's epicenter was located 50 kilometers south of Panzhihua (攀枝花), Sichuan province.

As of 6:30 pm Beijing time no reports of damage or injuries have emerged. Panzhihua, a city of slightly more than 1 million, is located near Sichuan's southern border with Yunnan roughly 350 kilometers north of Kunming. The tremor was able to be felt in high buildings throughout Kunming.

Today's earthquake is the second episode of major seismic activity to hit southwest China in the past month - on August 19 and 21, two quakes hit Yunnan's Yingjiang County (盈江县) near the Myanmar border, measuring 5.0 and 5.9 in magnitude, respectively.

The first Yingjiang quake was quickly followed by two aftershocks measuring less than 5.0, while the second quake killed at least three and left 106 injured, 24 of which were considered serious injuries.

Today's quake also hits Sichuan as it was recovering from the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan County on May 12, which killed nearly 70,000 people.

GoKunming will provide more updates as they become available.

UPDATE: At least 22 are confirmed dead - 17 in Sichuan and five in Yunnan - and more than 100 are injured from Saturday's quake, according to Xinhua reports. At least 1,000 homes were destroyed by the tremor.

Related article: Hope during dark times: Witnessing the earthquake's aftermath

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