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Mountains Rumble as Earthquake Hits Tibet
2004 07 12

Beijing - A powerful earthquake struck an isolated mountainous region of western Tibet on Monday and there was no immediate information on deaths or injuries, the government said.

The 6.7-magnitude quake struck at 7.08am in the Gangdise mountains, about 560km west of the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The US Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado, put the magnitude at 6.0.

The quake was centred in Zhongba County, which has about 20 000 inhabitants and lies at an altitude of 5 000m, Xinhua said, citing Dun Zhu, head of the county government.

"Communication is extremely difficult, and precise information on casualties or toppled houses will take some time," Xinhua said, citing Dun.

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake is capable of causing severe damage.

Zhongba County is about 100km north of China's border with Nepal and 360km north-west of Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital.

Tibet regularly suffers strong earthquakes.

On March 11, a quake of magnitude 5.8 struck an area 500km north-west of the Tibetan city of Lhasa. No deaths were reported.

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