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Cablegate: Yunnan Earthquake -- Tens of Thousands Left Homeless

VZCZCXRO5439
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH
DE RUEHCN #0144 1560948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050948Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL CHENGDU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2527
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1309
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0694
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0729
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 0672
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0704
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0601
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0427
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 0134
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 3055

UNCLAS CHENGDU 000144

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/CM AND CA/OCS/ACS/EAP FOR K. FARRELL
STATE FOR USAID/OFDA AND EAP/CM
BANGKOK FOR OFDA/DOLAN
KATHMANDU FOR OFDA/BERGER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON CASC CH
SUBJECT: YUNNAN EARTHQUAKE -- TENS OF THOUSANDS LEFT HOMELESS


1. (U) On June 3, Southwest China's Yunnan Province experienced
an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale. The quake hit
Pu'er City, close to Yunnan's southern border with Burma,
killing at least three, injuring 313, and leaving more than
180,000 people displaced, according to Chinese official press
reports.

2. (U) The region, famed for tea, has reportedly since been
rocked by "1,253" aftershocks, three of which measured more than
three on the Richter scale with the largest at 5.1. Experts have
warned of the possibility of more.

3. (U) The Yunnan Foreign Affairs Office (FAO) confirmed to us
some of the information contained in Chinese press reports. An
official we spoke to on June 4 claimed a "few" people had died
and that "less than three dozen" were injured. When asked if
the FAO had received any reports of injured or missing
Americans, the official said Pu'er was a rural and relatively
sparsely populated tea producing area, and that as far as they
knew, no foreigners were injured.

4. (SBU) Although initially hesitant to provide information to
us, the Ning'er County Earthquake Relieve Office eventually told
us on June 5 that the earthquake left three people dead and 329
people injured, 17 of them seriously. As reported in the press,
the official confirmed that 180,000 people had been moved to
temporary simple houses or tents in the area.

5. (SBU) The Relief Office also indicated approximately 530,000
people living in the immediate area have been affected by the
earthquake. Over 360,000 houses are damaged in some way.
Additionally, many other facilities including highways, power
supply and telecommunication networks, and schools have been
destroyed.

6. (SBU) Many Pu'er tea factories have had to stop production.
The Relief Office estimates the direct economic loss to be
approximately 2.5 billion RMB (USD 323 million). Following the
earthquake, Pu'er has received relief materials and funds from
the central government and other provinces.

BOUGHNER

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