Earthquake near China's Shangri-La kills at least four
An earthquake hit a remote part of southwest China on Saturday near the popular tourist area of Shangri-La, killing four people and injuring several others, state media said.
The earthquake in Yunnan province on the border with Sichuan province sparked landslides, blocked roads, cut off communications and toppled or damaged tens of thousands of homes in the mountainous area.
One person died as falling rocks smashed into a tourist bus, killing the driver, said the Yunnan government, which put the total at four dead.
At least 10 others were injured, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The 5.8-magnitude quake, which struck at 8:04 am (0004 GMT), was centred on Yunnan's Benzilan town, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. It was about 10 kilometres (six miles) deep.
The quake toppled 600 homes and damaged more than 55,000 others, forcing over 9,000 local residents to relocate, Xinhua said.
State television showed clouds of dust rising from landslides on green mountains and pieces of broken cement that had fallen from buildings.
"During the earthquake this morning, the swaying the county felt was relatively severe," the official Xinhua news agency quoted Liao Wencai, deputy party secretary of Deqin, as saying.
Benzilan is in Deqin county, roughly 60 kilometres from Shangri-La county, which is named after the fictional mountain paradise in the James Hilton novel "Lost Horizon".
Local officials borrowed the name to attract more tourists to the area, which hosted around 7.6 million travellers last year.
Shangri-La itself was little affected, residents said.
"The building just shook a little bit and returned to normal fairly fast," an employee at a local hotel told AFP.
The earthquake was the second in the area in four days after a 5.1-magnitude quake on Wednesday.
In July, twin quakes killed at least 95 people in China's western Gansu province.
A magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Sichuan province killed about 200 people earlier this year, five years after almost 90,000 people were killed by a huge tremor in the same province.