19 killed as powerful quake strikes China


Nineteen people have been killed by a powerful earthquake that hit a mountainous part of the southwestern province of Sichuan, state-run media said Wednesday.

The 7.0-magnitude tremor left more than 247 people injured when it struck the remote region 200 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of the city of Guangyuan late Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency said.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake struck at a depth of 10 km (6 miles) in Jiuzhaigou county.

Five tourists were among the dead as the disaster hit near the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve. Around 100 tourists were trapped by a landslide and more than 30,000 were evacuated from the area.

A large number of buildings have been destroyed and 130,000 houses were potentially damaged.

Sichuan province is regularly hit by earthquakes. In May 2008, nearly 70,000 people were killed by a huge quake.

On Wednesday, a 6.6-magnitude quake also struck China's northwestern Xinjiang region at a depth of 11 km (7 miles), Xinhua reported. Around 30 people were hurt.

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