BEIJING — A strong earthquake in southern China's Yunnan province toppled thousands of homes on Sunday, killing at least 381 people and injuring more than 1,800. About 12,000 homes collapsed in Ludian, a densely populated county located around 277 miles northeast of Yunnan's capital, Kunming, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported. The magnitude-6.1 quake struck at 4:30 p.m. at a depth of 6 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Its epicenter was in Longtoushan township, 14 miles southwest of the city of Zhaotong, the Ludian county seat.
News reports said rescuers were still trying to reach victims in more remote towns Sunday night. More than 2,500 troops were dispatched to the disaster region, Xinhua said. The Red Cross Society of China allocated quilts, jackets and tents for those made homeless by the quake, while Red Cross branches in Hong Kong, Macau and neighboring Sichuan province also sent relief supplies. Many of the homes that collapsed in Ludian, which has a population of about 429,000, were old and made of brick, Xinhua said, adding that electricity and telecommunications were cut off in the county. The mountainous region where the quake occurred is largely agricultural, with farming and mining the top industries, and is prone to earthquakes.