Burmese traders move from earthquake zone in China’s SW Yunnan

Hundreds of Burmese jade traders are fleeing to Ruili, the main border town with Burma, from Yingjiang County in China’s southwest Yunnan province, which was struck by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake on March 10, traders said.

Yingjiang in Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in the province was the epicenter of the quake which killed more than 25 residents and injured over 300, while causing houses and buildings to collapse, according to Chinese authorities.
yingjiang-quakeThe increase in people moving from the quake zone has led to an increase in the cost of a one way bus trip between Yingjiang and Ruili, which is up to 700 Yuan from 400 Yuan, passengers said.

Yingjiang is the second largest Chinese border jade market for Burmese merchants, who sell varieties of precious stones from the Hpakant jade mines, in western Kachin State.

However, Thursday’s quake has cooled the market, according to merchants.

That’s because most Burmese jade sellers and Chinese buyers moved to Ruili to avoid another quake, said Burmese jade traders.

Residents said they were warned to sleep outside in tents by county authorities in the aftermath of the quake.

According to eyewitnesses, tents can be seen in every roadside, open space and even gardens in the county because of further quake warnings.

Locals said Chinese authorities have warned residents about quakes in the county since December, last year.