At least 118 people were killed and over 500 others injured when a powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck a remote mountainous region in northwest China just before midnight, the local earthquake relief headquarters said on Tuesday.
According to the China Earthquake Networks Centre, the shallow quake jolted Gansu and Qinghai provinces at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, with a focal depth of 10 kilometres.
The epicentre of the earthquake Liugou township is about 8 kilometres from the county seat of Jishishan Bao'an, Dongxiang, Sala autonomous county in Linxia Hui autonomous prefecture in Gansu.
Experts say shallow quakes cause heavy damage to infrastructure.
Qinghai province is adjacent to the Tibet Himalayan region which is prone to frequent earthquakes due to shifting of continental plates.
A second quake struck the neighbouring Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region hours later on Tuesday.
The Atux City of Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, was struck by the earthquake at 9:46 a.m. loacal time on Tuesday, the CENC said.
The epicentre, with a depth of 10 km, was monitored at 40.02 degrees north latitude and 77.86 degrees east longitude, the CENC said.
Gansu and Qinghai also experienced aftershocks.
While 105 people were killed in Gansu, 13 others died in Qinghai due to the quake, according to official media reports.
So far 579 people have been reported injured in the quake-hit areas, officials said.
The quake has damaged 6,381 houses in Jishishan.
So far 32 aftershocks were recorded, with the largest registering a magnitude of 4.0, said Han Shujun, a spokesperson for the provincial emergency management department, at the press conference.
The quake has destroyed some rural roads, leading to power outages and telecommunication failures. The maintenance crew has been working overnight to repair the damaged infrastructure.
Several villages suffered power failures and disruption of water.
The Ministry of Transport, which monitors the operation of roads, said on Tuesday morning that a bridge across the Yellow River had cracked because of the quake.
According to local meteorological authorities, the daily low temperature in Jishishan is reported to climb minus 10 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.
The provincial fire and rescue department sent 580 rescuers aided with 88 fire engines, 12 search and rescue dogs, and more than 10,000 sets of equipment to the disaster area.
The railway authority has suspended passenger and cargo trains passing through the quake zone and ordered a safety check of railway tracks.
Hu Changsheng, the ruling Communist Party chief of Gansu, and Ren Zhenhe, the governor of Gansu, have rushed to the disaster-hit area to command rescue and relief efforts.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang have ordered all-out rescue efforts to minimise casualties after the earthquake.
Xi asked local authorities to rescue and treat the injured people promptly, and closely monitor the earthquake situation and weather changes to prevent secondary disasters.
(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)