3 moderate earthquakes hit southwest China

/ Source: The Associated Press

Three moderate earthquakes hit China's southwestern region, injuring 19 people and forcing the evacuation of thousands of homes, state media reported Saturday.

A 4.9-magnitude quake hit Ruili, a city on the China-Myanmar border in Yunnan province, early Friday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the provincial seismic monitoring agency.

Three people were seriously hurt while 16 others suffered minor injuries, said Yang Yuego, the city's Communist Party chief. He said 10,000 people were evacuated and the quake destroyed the city government's office building and damaged thousands of houses.

Local officials were distributing 300,000 yuan ($44,000) in relief supplies to affected residents, Xinhua said.

A 4.3-magnitude quake hit a village near the Yunnan capital Kunming early Friday but no casualties were reported.

A third tremor measuring 4.0 hit neighboring Guizhou province Friday night but there were no reports of casualties or damage.

Residents in the quake area of Luodian county, 103 miles from the capital Giuyang, rushed out of their homes when the quake hit but most have returned, said official Sha Xiangui.