A strong earthquake struck a rural part of western China on Monday morning, killing at least 20 people and injuring 296, according to the local government.
The quake hit near the city of Dingxi in Gansu province, a region of mountains, desert and pastureland with a population of 26 million. That makes it one of China’s more lightly populated provinces, although the Dingxi area has a greater concentration of farms and towns with a total population of about 2.7 million.
The deaths and injuries were reported in Min County and other rural southern parts of Dingxi municipality, the provincial government said in a statement posted on its official microblog.
Residents described shaking windows and swinging lights but little major damage and little panic. Shaking was felt in the provincial capital of Lanzhou 177 kilometers north, and as far away as Xi’an, 400 kilometers to the east.
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