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Earthquake in southwest China collapses homes, kills at least 3

An earthquake destroyed houses, killed at least three people and injured dozens Thursday in southwest China's Sichuan province.

State TV says 88 people were injured and 35 houses collapsed

Rescuers clean up debris after an earthquake that killed three and injured dozens in China's southwestern Sichuan province on Thursday. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

An earthquake destroyed houses, killed at least three people and injured dozens Thursday in southwest China's Sichuan province.

Rescue work was underway following the magnitude-6.0 earthquake.

It struck at 4:33 a.m. local time in Luxian county at a depth of 10 kilometres, the official Xinhua News Agency said. State broadcaster CCTV said that 88 people were injured, three seriously, and 35 houses had collapsed.

The epicentre was about 200 kilometres southeast of Chengdu, the provincial capital.

Western China is regularly hit by earthquakes. A magnitude-7.9 quake in May 2008 left nearly 90,000 people dead in Sichuan, many of them in collapsed schools and other poorly constructed buildings.

State Broadcaster CCTV said 35 homes collapsed in the quake. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Xinhua reported that collapsed walls and houses could be seen on the way to the epicentre, and that electricity had been suspended in much of Jiaming town. Residents could be seen cleaning up.

Rescue workers were going door-to-door in heavy rain searching for people in damaged homes in Fuji town to move them to temporary shelters, Xinhua said. Workers distributed mooncakes, a traditional treat for the next week's Mid-Autumn Festival, and other food at one shelter.

Lai Jianrong, a Fuji resident, told Xinhua that she felt a mild tremor around 4 a.m. and ran out barefoot in her nightgown when the tremors became intense. "Some bricks fell off the wall and I didn't dare to go in again," the agency quoted her as saying.

More than 3,200 people have been moved to 79 shelters, CCTV said.

Residents look out from a tent set up for people displaced by the earthquake. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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