KUNMING, April 5 (Xinhua) -- At least ten people were injured after a 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck a town in southwest China early Saturday, authorities said.
Yongshan County, Yunnan Province felt the shock, with epicenter 13 km deep in Xiluodu township, at 6:40 a.m. Saturday, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.
Two of the injured are in a serious condition, said the county government's information office. Twenty houses collapsed and two roads were blocked by fallen rocks. One road has since reopened. Communications in the area were not affected.
"We felt the quake strongly, but it did not last long," said a local resident. Some were woken up by the tremor and ran out of their houses, but returned home a few minutes later.
Authorities have sent 400 tents and quilts for displaced residents and several thousand more have been made ready.
Yongshan is home to the Xiluodu hydropower project, China's second largest hydropower station, only 15 km from the epicenter. Rumors have spread that the quake was caused by the power station.
Zhang Jianguo of Yunnan Disaster Prevention Research Institute denied there is any evidence linking the quake and the power plant.
The area has a history of quakes, Zhang said. Quakes caused by reservoirs usually have quite shallow epicenters, at a depth of around 4 km, while the epicenter of Saturday's quake was 13 km deep. Study of the relationship between quakes and hydropower projects remains an important area of research.
Yunnan and neighboring Sichuan Province are vulnerable to earthquakes. Multiple earthquakes struck Yiliang county and its neighboring areas in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces in September 2012, killing 81 people.
A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan, Sichuan on April 20, 2013, killing at least 196 people. On May 12, 2008, a 8.0-magnitude quake hit Wenchuan, Sichuan, leaving more than 80,000 people dead or missing.