5.5-magnitude earthquake jolts Sichuan province

The 5.5 magnitude quake struck Qingchuan county in Guangyuan city. PHOTO: USGS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 struck 78km west of the Chinese city of Guangyuan in Sichuan province, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said. There was only minor damage and no casualties so far.

The depth of the tremor was 10km, USGS said.

The China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC) said the earthquake registered a 5.4-magnitude, and struck Qingchuan county in Guangyuan city at 14.14pm on Saturday (Sept 30) Beijing Time.

People close to the epicentre said on Chinese social media that they felt shaking, and some posted pictures of people rushing outside of buildings.

The Sichuan government said several rail services had been suspended for safety checks, but that it had not received any reports of power being cut off in any part of the province.

The quake hit a mountainous area between the cities of Guangyuan and Mianyang.

Sichuan is frequently struck by tremors. A massive quake in the south-western Chinese province in 2008 killed almost 70,000 people. In August, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck a remote part of the same province near a popular tourist area, killing 20 people and injuring around 500, many of them in landslides.

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