Agitated Earth: hundreds of homes flattened by earthquake in China, mountainside collapses in the Philippines, killing 5

Monday, March 4, 2013
By Paul Martin
March 3, 2013

PHILIPPINES – Five workers were killed and nine others trapped in a landslide at a construction site in the eastern Philippines, police said Saturday, dpa reported. The victims were building anti-erosion railings on the side of a highland road in Kananga town in Leyte province, 540 kilometres south-east of Manila, when the mountain collapsed on them, said police Senior Inspector Antonio Angcay. Steam pipes also exploded when hit by the landslide, which occurred after days of heavy rains, he said. The five bodies were recovered immediately after the accident Friday, but efforts to rescue the nine trapped workers were hampered by heavy rain, Angcay said. –Trend

Quake smashes homes in China: Chinese officials say a shallow, 5.5 magnitude earthquake has hit southwest China, causing hundreds of homes to collapse and injuring about 20 people. China’s official Xinhua news agency says the quake struck a rural area in the southwestern province of Yunnan Sunday afternoon, destroying 700 homes and damaging a further 2,500 houses. There were no reports of fatalities, though three of the injured are in serious condition. Xinhua said the quake struck just nine kilometers beneath the surface. The provincial earthquake bureau has sent a team to the quake area. -VOA

Iran still reeling from aftershocks: The 6.4-magnitude earthquake, which rocked the city of Varzaghan in East Azarbaijan Province northwest of Iran on August 11, has had 4162 aftershocks, the Fars News Agency reported. The latest aftershock occurred on Saturday measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale. According to the report, Varzaghan has jolted 14 times in the past 24 hours. The main earthquake imposed some 11 trillion rials (about $900 million) loss on industry, agriculture, and service sectors. According to latest reports, 306 people were dead and over 3,000 injured. Iranian government has allocated $49 million for rebuilding and re-constructing the living houses of the quake-affected victims in the province, country’s Interior minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said. –Trend

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