Beijing (AFP) – A shallow earthquake hit a mountainous area of southwest China on Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring around 100, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
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 depth of only 9.3 kilometres (5.8 miles).
The Chinese government put the magnitude of the quake at 5.7.
The earthquake 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.
A Yanyuan county government official was quoted as saying that “many” houses in rural areas had collapsed, but he gave no figure.
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.