BEIJING — A strong earthquake that shook an arid, hilly farming area in northwest China sparked landslides and destroyed or damaged thousands of brick-and-mud homes Monday, killing at least 75 people and injuring more than 400, the government said.
The quake near the city of Dingxi in Gansu province province toppled brick walls and telephone lines, shattered mud-and-tile-roofed houses and sent cascades of dirt and rock down hillsides that blocked roads and slowed rescue efforts by crews trying to reach remote areas.
Hospitals set up aid stations in parking lots to accommodate large numbers of injured, while hundreds of paramilitary People’s Armed Police fanned out to search for victims in the region of terraced farmlands, about 1,200 kilometers (760 miles) west of Beijing.
“I was thrown off the couch while watching television,” a Dingxi resident was quoted as saying by the website of the official People’s Daily newspaper. “It was…
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