7 magnitude earthquake strikes China

Beijing: A strong earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale jolted a popular tourist destination in China’s southwestern Sichuan province on Tuesday, with no immediate reports of casualties.

The US Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 6.6 and said it struck 200 kilometre west northwest of Guangyuan in Sichuan province at a depth of 32 km, South China Morning Post reported.

The China Earthquake Networks Centre measured the quake at magnitude 7.0 and said it was 20 km deep. It said said the quake occurred around 9.20 p.m. near Jiuzhaigou or Jiuzhai Valley, a national park known for spectacular waterfalls and karst formations.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the area, which is frequently struck by earthquakes.

Pictures on state media-run social media sites showed some minor damage in Jiuzhaigou, with tiles having fallen from buildings and people gathering outdoors, but no major damage.

The Sichuan earthquake administration said the epicentre of the tremor was in Ngawa prefecture, largely populated by ethnic Tibetans.