20 Apr 2013

Strong quake hits Sichuan region of China

5:30 pm on 20 April 2013

A strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake has hit south-western China's Sichuan province, killing scores of people and injuring about 600 close to where a big quake killed almost 70,000 people in 2008.

The earthquake occurred in Lushan county near Ya'an city and the epicentre had a depth of 12 kms.

The quake was felt by residents in neighbouring provinces and in the provincial capital of Chengdu, causing many people to rush out of buildings, according to accounts on China's Sina Weibo microblogging service.

Chengdu airport has reopened and 2,000 troops are heading to the area to help with rescue efforts.

Rescuers in Lushan have pulled 27 survivors out of rubble.

The US Geological Survey initially put the magnitude at 7, but later revised it down.