BEIJING, China - A shallow earthquake hit southwestern China on Friday, killing at least 20 people and damaging more than 20,000 homes, government sources said.
An official from the Yunnan provincial government earthquake office said the death toll from the quake in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces had risen to 20 from an earlier toll of seven. The official, like many Chinese bureaucrats, would not give his name.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the quake destroyed or damaged 20,000 homes.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 5.6 quake hit at a depth of 9.8 kilometres (6.1 miles). Shallower earthquakes often cause more damage than deeper ones.
Xinhua said the earthquake hit the border area of Yiliang county of Yunnan and Weining county of Guizhou.