China's Sichuan hit by earthquake, killing at least 156, many more feared dead

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BEIJING - A powerful earthquake has killed at least 156 people and injured more than 5,500 in China's southwestern Sichuan province.
   
The China Earthquake Administration puts the magnitude of the quake at 7.0, while the U.S. Geological Survey puts it at the 6.6.
   
Aftershocks were being felt nearly 20 hours after the initial quake struck. Survivors say they plan to spend the night outside or in their cars out of fear their homes could yet collapse.
   
The struck the steep hills of Lushan county shortly, toppling buildings, many of them older brick structures. Photos posted online showed people ran into the streets in their underwear and wrapped in blankets.
   
Lushan is home to 1.5 million people. Known for its mountains, the area is near a well-known preserve for pandas.
   
The area lies near the same geological fault where the devastating 7.9-magnitude quake struck in May 2008, leaving more than 90,000 people dead or missing and presumed dead.
   
 

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