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Strong earthquake hits southwestern China

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BEIJING (AP) — A strong earthquake that hit Sichuan province in southern China late Monday night killed 11 people and injured 122, the local government said.

The Yibin city government posted the casualty toll on its social media accounts Tuesday morning. Xinhua news agency said rescue efforts were underway in the stricken area.

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake collapsed a hotel in Changning county and damaged some roads, Xinhua said. Heavy rains were falling Tuesday morning.

The Ministry of Emergency Management sent firefighting crews and other rescue personnel, Xinhua said. The ministry and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration have dispatched 5,000 tents, 10,000 folding beds and 20,000 quilts to the quake-hit areas.

The epicenter was 16 kilometers below the surface, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage to buildings and infrastructure.

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China’s worst earthquake in recent years struck the mountainous western portion of Sichuan province in 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people. That earthquake was about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Monday’s quake.

A 1976 earthquake centered in the northeastern city of Tangshan killed at least 250,000 people.

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