Strong, shallow earthquake hits western China

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Seismograph reading of an earthquake. (AP Photo)

Seismograph reading of an earthquake. (AP Photo)

BEIJING (AP) — A strong earthquake has hit a moderately populated western province in China. No information on damage was immediately available.

The government’s earthquake monitoring center said the quake struck at 7:34 a.m. Monday morning in Gansu province. It was near the city of Dingxi, about 1,233 kilometers (766 miles) west of Beijing.

It gave the quake’s magnitude as 6.6, which can cause severe damage. It also said the quake was at a shallow depth of just 6 kilometers (3.7 miles). Quakes near the surface tend to be more destructive.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the magnitude as 5.9 and the depth at 10 kilometers (6 miles).

Initial measurements of a quake can vary widely, especially if different monitoring equipment is used.

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