Multiple quakes rattle north-east China

BEIJING (AFP) - Multiple earthquakes hit north-east China on Saturday, with a 5.5 magnitude the strongest among them, according to seismologists, causing serious damage to homes.

The 5.5 magnitude quake hit at 6.04 am local time, 34 kilometres north of Changling in Jilin province at a shallow depth of 12.5 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

It was followed around thirty minutes later by a 4.9 magnitude quake just south of Qian'an town, with a similar tremor felt a day earlier in the same area.

State TV images showed seriously damaged houses, some with roofs or walls partially collapsed.

Some villages lost power, according to the Xinhua news agency, which did not mention casualties.

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake in south-west China's Sichuan province killed about 200 people in April, five years after almost 90,000 people were killed by a huge tremor in the same province.