(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
JIUZHAIGOU, China - A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck a remote, mountainous part of China's southwestern province of Sichuan, killing 19 people, including six tourists, and injuring 247, the provincial government and official media said on Wednesday.
The quake hit a sparsely populated area 200 km (120 miles) northwest of the city of Guangyuan late on Tuesday at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), the US Geological Survey said. It was also close to the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve, a tourist destination.
Sichuan is frequently struck by tremors. A huge quake there in May 2008 killed almost 70,000 people.
A separate quake of magnitude 6.6 hit a remote part of China's far northwestern region of Xinjiang, more than 2,000 km (1,240 miles) away, on Wednesday, the Chinese earthquake administration said. The People's Daily said 32 people had been injured in the mostly rural area.
The Sichuan government said rescuers were gradually evacuating tourists and residents who had been cut off by landslides.
At least six tourists were among those killed, the official China News Service said.
The Sichuan government said 19 people had been killed, but most of those injured were not seriously hurt.
In nearby Longnan in the neighboring province of Gansu, also jolted by the quake, eight people died in landslides caused by heavy rain, the People's Daily said.
The Sichuan government added that 45,000 tourists had been evacuated from the quake zone with just 1,000 more still waiting to leave.