The earthquake hits around 43 kilometres southeast of the city of Kangding at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey.
At least seven people have been killed after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern China, state media reported.
Initial surveys after Monday’s quake showed that a number of towns in Sichuan province had sustained “serious damage to housing due to mountain landslides” while telecommunication lines had been cut off in some areas, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
The quake hit shortly before 1 pm (0500 GMT), around 43 kilometres southeast of the city of Kangding at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to the US Geological Survey.
Tremors were felt in the nearby provincial capital Chengdu, where a Covid-19 lockdown has confined millions of residents to their homes, and the megacity of Chongqing, residents told AFP news agency.
A video posted online by the China Earthquake Networks Center showed boulders thundering down mountainsides in stricken Luding county, kicking up clouds of dust as tremors swayed roadside telephone wires.
State media reported that several aftershocks were recorded in nearby areas. A smaller magnitude 4.6 tremor hit eastern Tibet less than an hour after the initial quake, according to the USGS.
More than 500 rescue personnel have been dispatched to the epicentre while workers attempt to clear roads blocked by landslides triggered by the tremors, according to state broadcaster CGTN.
Photos published by state media showed officials in military fatigues heaving shovels and other equipment along a highway – all while wearing face masks against Covid-19.
Summer of extremes
Earthquakes are fairly common in China, especially in the country’s seismically active southwest.
An 8.0-magnitude quake in 2008 in Sichuan’s Wenchuan county left tens of thousands dead and caused enormous damage.
At least four people were killed and dozens more injured after two earthquakes in southwestern China in June.
That month a shallow 6.1-magnitude quake hit a sparsely populated area about 100 kilometres west of Chengdu. It was followed three minutes later by a second quake of magnitude 4.5 in a nearby county, where the deaths and injuries occurred.
Authorities in Chengdu extended the city’s virus lockdown on Sunday as they fight a Covid flare-up with hundreds of cases.
The region has also suffered a summer of extreme weather, with a record-breaking heatwave noticeably drying rivers in Chongqing.
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Source: TRTWorld and agencies