An earthquake on Sunday hit a mountainous area of southwest China, killing at least two people and injuring around 100, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.5 and struck the border between the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan just before 4:00 pm (0800 GMT), at a shallow depth of only 9.3 kilometres (5.8 miles).
The Chinese government put the magnitude of the quake at 5.7. It was followed two minutes later by an aftershock of 3.3, the China Earthquake Network Centre said.
The quake toppled houses and cut off communications with parts of Ninglang county in Yunnan, Xinhua said, adding that casualties were also reported in Sichuan’s Yanyuan county.
Yunnan provincial authorities had sent relief supplies to Ninglang, where the quake was strongly felt, including 300 tents, it said. The province had also sent a team to the area.
An official in Lijiang city, which administers Ninglang, told AFP it was too early to have detailed estimates of casualties and damage.
Separately, a Yanyuan county government official was quoted by Xinhua as saying that “many” houses in rural areas had collapsed, but he gave no figure.
“I felt it, but I don’t know about casualties,” another official of the Yanyuan civil affairs bureau told AFP, adding that the government was trying to calculate the casualties.
The area is inhabited by the Yi ethnic minority, Xinhua said. China estimates there are around 7.8 million Yi people living in four provinces, including Yunnan and Sichuan, many in mountainous areas.
Image via Agence France-Presse