Magnitude-4.3 quake hits area near Beijing

Xinhua
A magnitude-4.3 earthquake hit Yongqing County, Langfang City in north China's Hebei Province, just south of Beijing, on Monday evening.
Xinhua

A magnitude-4.3 earthquake hit Yongqing County, Langfang City in north China's Hebei Province, just south of Beijing, on Monday evening.

According to China Earthquake Networks Center, the quake struck at 6:31 p.m. Beijing time. By 9 p.m., there had been no reports of casualties or damage.

Many residents in the county seat of Yongqing ran out of their apartment buildings after the quake struck. Some later returned home while some continued to stay outside fearing bigger quakes.

"I suddenly felt that the sofa shook, like a heavy-duty truck rumbling by," a resident in Yongqing told Xinhua, who declined to be named.

Liang Yongjin, a staffer at a hotel in Yongqing, said he felt nothing but some slight shakes when the quake hit.

"Everything is fine in the hotel. The building and the furniture were undamaged. There was no visible panic among the customers," Liang said.

Tremors were felt in Beijing.

"After I felt some slight shakes, I immediately ran out of the building," said a man surnamed Chen who lives in a residential area in western Beijing.

Zhang Yuan, an office worker in eastern Beijing, said when the quake struck, a lamp overhead swung slightly for some time.

Experts believed that the likelihood of bigger quakes in the region is small and the public does not need to be panic.

"The moderate quake was very likely an isolated quake with smaller aftershocks," said Liu Guiping, deputy director of China Earthquake Networks Center.

By 9:20 p.m., 24 aftershocks had been recorded, with the biggest one measuring 1.8 in magnitude, according to the center.

The earthquake was rather deep and therefore unlikely to cause severe damage, Liu said, adding that local authorities in Langfang have sent teams to investigate quake-related damage.

Since 1900, no earthquakes larger than magnitude 5 have been reported within 50 km of the epicenter, she said. 

After the quake, the Beijing Railway Bureau temporarily halted trains running in the region and checked sections of Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Kowloon railway lines to ensure transport safety, thus causing some delays.

After line checkups were finished, all the train services have been resumed, the bureau said on its official account on Sina Weibo, China's popular Twitter-like microblogging service.

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