Around 100 dead or injured in China quake

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - About 100 people could have died or been injured in a 6.6 magnitude earthquake which struck near Ya'an city in China's south-western province of Sichuan on Saturday, close to where a massive temblor struck in 2008, killing almost 70,000.

The earthquake occurred at 8.02am local time (8am Singapore time) in Lushan county and the epicentre had a depth of 13km, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The quake was felt strongly by residents in neighbouring provinces and in the provincial capital city of Chengdu, causing many to rush outside, according to accounts on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service.

Xinhua said two people had been confirmed dead so far.

Reports carried by other state media, citing Sichuan authorities, including the People's Daily microblog, said around 100 could have died or been injured.

Multiple aftershocks jolted the area after the quake took place. Tthe largest aftershock in magnitude was marked at 5.1, shaking Sichuan's Lushan and Baoxing counties at 8.07am

The US Geological Service initially put the magnitude at 7, but later revised it down.

A resident in Chengdu, 140km from Ya'an city, told Xinhua he was on the 13th floor of a building when he felt the quake. The building shook for about 20 seconds and he saw tiles fall from nearby buildings.