Nine people have been killed, including six tourists, and 164 injured in an earthquake that struck a remote and mountainous part of southwest China’s Sichuan province, the local government and official media said on Wednesday.
The quake hit a sparsely populated area 200 km (120 miles) west-northwest of the city of Guangyuan on Tuesday evening at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was also close to the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve, a tourist destination.
The Sichuan government said 100 tourists had been trapped by a landslide following the quake. The official China News Service said on Wednesday that six tourists were among the dead.
As many as 31,500 tourists have been evacuated from the quake zone, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday morning.
The Sichuan fire service said the reception area in a hotel had collapsed, trapping some people, but that 2,800 people had been safely evacuated from the building.
There was no confirmation of the nationalities of any of the tourists, but Jiuzhaigou is far more popular with Chinese tourists than foreigners.
The Sichuan earthquake administration measured the quake at a magnitude of 7.0. The administration said the epicentre of the tremor was in Ngawa prefecture, largely populated by ethnic Tibetans, many of whom are nomadic herders.
Later, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 hit a remote part of China’s far northwestern region of Xinjiang on Wednesday morning, the country’s earthquake administration said.
The quake struck at a depth of 11 kms (6.8 miles) in the Bortala Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, the China Earthquake Administration said. It did not report any casualties.
The China Earthquake Administration said on its official Twitter-like Weibo social media account that there are no villages located within a 5 km radius of the quake.
—CNBC contributed to this report.