BEIJING — A strong earthquake in southern China’s Yunnan province toppled thousands of homes on Sunday, killing at least 367 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.
Ma Liya, a resident of Zhaotong, told Xinhua that the streets there were like a “battlefield after bombardment.” She added that her neighbor’s house, a new two-story building, had toppled, and said the quake was far worse than one that struck the area in 2012 and killed 81 people.
Xinhua said at least 367 people were killed in the quake, with 1,881 injured.
News reports said rescuers were still trying to reach victims in more remote towns Sunday night.
Photos on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media site, showed rescuers searching through flattened buildings and people injured amid toppled bricks.
Many of the homes that collapsed in Ludian, which has a population of about 429,000, were old and made of brick.
The mountainous region where the quake occurred – largely agricultural, with farming and mining the top industries – is prone to earthquakes.
Relief efforts are ongoing, with more than 2,500 troops dispatched to the disaster region.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the quake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years.
In 1970, a magnitude-7.7 earthquake in Yunnan killed at least 15,000 people, and a magnitude-7.1 quake in the province killed more than 1,400 in 1974.
In September 2012, 81 people died and 821 were injured in a series of quakes in the Yunnan region.