Death toll from China quake revised down to three

Death toll from China quake revised down to three

BEIJING - The death toll from an earthquake in southwest China has been revised down to three, according to official figures Sunday, while a report said 17 trapped bus tourists had been rescued. Saturday's quake struck near the popular tourist area of Shangri-La and was initially reported to have killed five people.

But the website of the Yunnan Earthquake Prevention and Disaster Reduction Bureau reported Sunday that the toll was revised down to three due to duplicated death reports.

It said 40 people were injured, six seriously, but gave no figures for missing or trapped people.

The earthquake, on the border with Sichuan province, sparked landslides, blocked roads, trapped tourist buses, cut off communications and toppled or damaged tens of thousands of homes in the mountainous area.

The driver of a tourist bus died as falling rocks smashed into the vehicle, the official Xinhua news agency reported Saturday.

A total of seven tourists aboard four buses were injured by falling rocks and were being treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Xinhua said Sunday.

The China News Service reported Sunday that 17 tourists had been rescued from the buses. The reports did not reveal the nationalities of the tourists.

The 5.8-magnitude quake, which struck at 8:04 am (0004 GMT), was centred on Yunnan's town of Benzilan, the US Geological Survey said. It was about 10 kilometres (six miles) deep.

It toppled 600 homes and damaged more than 55,000 others, forcing more than 9,000 local residents to relocate, Xinhua said.

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