Strong China Quake Felt as far as Thailand

May 12, 2008

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 struck China’s Sichuan province on Monday, less than 100 km (60 miles) from the provincial capital of Chengdu, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its web site.

The quake was felt across much of China and as far west as Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, some 3,300 km (2050 miles) away, where office buildings swayed for several minutes.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties or damage from the tremor. “We felt continuous shaking for about two or three minutes. All the people in our office are rushing downstairs. We’re still feeling slight tremblings,” said an office worker in Chengdu.

In Beijing’s financial district, many workers poured from their buildings but there were no visible signs of damage. The subway system was unaffected.

“People were shouting ‘get out, get out’, so we all ran out of our dorm,” said a student surnamed Zhang at a university in nearby Chongqing.

USGS said on its web site ( that the quake struck at 0628 GMT at a depth of 29 kms (18 miles). The agency originally put the strength of the quake at 7.8

Japan’s meteorological agency said no warnings for a tsunami has been issued.

Sources said there was no immediate impact to the Three Gorges Dam project, the weight of whose massive reservoir, hundreds of kms from Chengdu, experts have said could increase the risk of tremors.

A spokesman for the China Earthquake Administration said it was still checking the epicenter and scale of the tremor.

(Reporting by Jason Subler and Darren Schuettler; Writing by David Fox; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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