5.0 Earthquake Hits Central China

A 5.0-register earthquake has hit the Chinese province of Sichuan, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said, three years after a giant tremor left 87,000 dead or missing.

The earthquake struck at 3.05pm (1705 AEST) at a depth of 15km, with an epicentre 31km west of the city of Guangyuan, the USGS said. No damage or casualties were immediately reported.

An 8.0 earthquake rocked Sichuan and parts of neighbouring Shaanxi and Gansu provinces on May 12, 2008, killing tens of thousands and flattening swathes of the province.

China’s government issued a plan in September 2008 to rebuild 51 earthquake-struck counties covering 130,000 square kilometres, Xinhua said.

Mu Hong, a vice-director of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planning agency, said last week work on 95 per cent of the reconstruction projects in the plan had been completed.

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