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Magnitude-6.4 earthquake leaves thousands in China homeless

A STRONG earthquake has hit a rural part of China's far western Xinjiang region, killing at least six people, injuring dozens and destroying or damaging thousands of homes, the government and state media says.

Many traditional houses in the mainly ethnic Uighur region collapsed when the shallow magnitude-6.4 quake struck about 160 kilometres north-west of the southern city of Hotan, emergency officials said.

The dead included a father and son, the government-run China National Emergency Broadcasting said on its website.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs added that at least 3,000 homes either collapsed or were seriously damaged and 1,000 tents were being sent to the region.

State news agency Xinhua put the number of injured at about 50.

Read more at ABC News Online