Earthquake kills 13 in southwest China

BEIJING (CNN) — A moderate earthquake shook southwestern China Saturday morning, killing 13 people, injuring 41 people and toppling 56 houses, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The quake, which measured 5.2 magnitude on the Richter scale, struck at 9:10 a.m. local time and its epicenter was about 55 miles from the mountainous region of Sichuan located in southwest China, the U.S. Geological Survey Web site reported.

Houses in Yanjin, a county on the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau with a population of 350,000, were mostly built near hillsides and therefore are vulnerable to earthquakes, Xinhua said.

Rescue teams headed to the affected areas shortly after the earthquake, it said.

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