China's Sichuan hit by 6.5 magnitude quake, USGS says
(AFP) A 6.5-magnitude earthquake that rattled southwest China late Tuesday may have killed up to 100 people, China's National Commission for Disaster Reduction said.
More than 130,000 houses may be damaged, it said in a statement posted on its website, based on a preliminary analysis of the disaster in a remote region of Sichuan province.
The earthquake's epicentre was 284 kilometres north of the provincial capital Chengdu and struck at a depth of 10 kilometres, the USGS said.
The jolted region, Jiuzhaigou county, includes one of the country's most famous national parks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for lakes in shades of otherworldly turquoise blue.
Some houses at the scenic spot collapsed following the quake and authorities were organizing young people to help evacuate residents, a staff worker at the park told the official Xinhua news agency.
The quake was strong enough to be felt in Chengdu, Xinhua said.
China is regularly hit by earthquakes, especially its mountainous western and southwestern regions.
Earlier today, a landslide triggered by heavy rains killed at least 24 people in a different, mountainous region of Sichuan to the south of Chengdu.