Shallow 5.1-magnitude earthquake strikes in south-west China

HONG KONG (AFP) - A moderate 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck China's south-western Sichuan province early on Sunday, United States geologists said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The quake struck at 6.07am at a depth of 10km, the US Geological Survey said.

Shallow earthquakes can often cause greater damage than more powerful deep ones.

The USGS said the epicentre of the earthquake was 2km south-west of Xiluodu and 96km from Zhaotong in neighbouring Yunnan province, where a deadly quake two weeks ago killed 615 people and injured 3,143.

In May 2008, a giant quake that the Chinese authorities said measured 8.0 magnitude rocked Sichuan, killing tens of thousands of people and flattening swathes of the province.