DHAKA: A strong earthquake shook a mountainous region in southwestern China, killing 13 people, injuring 175 others and knocking out power and phone networks, reports AP.
At least five of the dead were tourists, China's official Xinhua News Agency said. The government in Aba prefecture in Sichuan province said 13 people were killed, and 28 of those hurt were seriously injured.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for rapid efforts to respond to the quake and rescue the injured. Authorities sent medical teams, rescuers and other resources.
The magnitude-6.5 quake struck a region bordered by the provinces of Sichuan and Gansu at a depth of just 9 kilometers (5.5 miles), according to the US Geological Survey. Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage than deeper ones.
The China Earthquake Networks Center measured the earthquake at magnitude-7.0 and said it struck at a depth of 20 kilometers (12 miles). The quake occurred around 9:20pm (local time) near Jiuzhaigou, or Jiuzhai Valley, a national park known for spectacular waterfalls and karst formations, the Chinese agency said.
The area is located on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau in northern Sichuan province, home to many Tibetan and other ethnic minority villages.
Images on Chinese social media sites showed rocks scattered on roads and people running out of bars and cafes in Jiuzhaigou town onto the street.
A report on Xinhua’s official microblog also cited Zhao Wei, the party secretary of the Communist Youth League's Jiuzhaigou division, as saying some telephone communications networks were down, making it difficult to determine the scale of the damage.
BDST: 1200 HRS, AUG 9, 2017