China quake kills at least 24

China Earthquake

An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale hit southwest China on Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed. There were conflicting reports about the number of casualties but the Xinhua News Agency has reported that at least 22 people have died and 207 have been injured.

The tremor toppled hundreds of houses in the remote Yingjiang county in Yunnan province, and according to witnesses, people were buried under debris and part of a supermarket and a hotel caved in. The Chinese government has sent almost 1,000 soldiers to the rescue operation, the report said.

The earthquake was centered about 250 kilometers southwest of the city of Dali in Yunnan, and about 350 kilometers northeast of the Burmese city of Mandalay, according to the USGS. There were no immediate reports on the impact of the tremor in Myanmar.