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Two thousand evacuated after quake in Tibet

August 28, 2008

Editor: Yan (People's Republic of China)
August 26, 2008

LHASA, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- About 2,000 people were safely evacuated
from their homes after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit southwest
China's Tibet Autonomous Region late on Monday.

Authorities on Tuesday were assessing the impact of the quake, which
struck at 9:22 p.m. with the epicenter about 10 km underground at 31
degrees north and 83.6 degrees east in Zhongba County, Xigaze Prefecture.

Three townships in the county felt the tremor, but no casualties have
been reported.

But cracks appeared in 42 residential buildings, said Tan Yungao, the
regional civil affairs department's deputy director. The quake also
damaged 54 rooms in primary and middle schools.

The official said the affected area was in urgent need of tents and
quilts. Some 400 tents, 3,500 quilts and clothing were being
transported to the area.

Gerze and Coqen counties in Ali Prefecture also felt the quake, but
the county seats sustained no damage, said the regional earthquake bureau.

A regional flood control and drought relief official said a local
hydropower station was slightly damaged. The damage included the
flood control levee shifting 5 m from its original location and
cracks in workshop walls.

The plant maintained normal power generation.

Zhu Quan, the regional earthquake bureau chief, said the tremor would
have no effect on the Qinghai-Tibet railway, which was several
hundred kilometers from the quake zone.

Zhongba, in the west of Xigaze with a population of 18,000 and
covering 43,594 square kilometers, experiences frequent quakes. It is
4,700 meters above sea level.

A 6.7-magnitude quake occurred in the same area in 2004, followed by
a 6.5-magnitude quake on April 8, 2005, but neither caused
casualties, according to the regional earthquake bureau.
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