A magnitude-6.4 earthquake has struck a remote region of northwest China, damaging a few dozen homes but causing no casualties



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BEIJING — A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck a remote region of northwest China early Thursday, damaging a few dozen homes but causing no casualties.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the epicenter of the 1:13 a.m. quake was in an unpopulated area about 33 kilometers (20 miles) from the county seat of Menyuan in Qinghai province.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 5.9 and said it struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles) on the western edge of the Plateau of Tibet, where the collision of the India and Eurasia plates generates numerous earthquakes and makes the region one of the world's most seismically hazardous.

Xinhua quoted local officials as saying the quake caused cracks in about 20 homes and other damage in more than 30 others. Authorities sent 700 tents to the area.

"The tremor lasted one to two minutes ... with a rumbling noise," the agency quoted Menyuan country resident Ma Wulong as saying.

The tremor also was felt in the provincial capital of Xining.

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