Beijing: A powerful 6.6 magnitude quake jolted northwest China's remote Xinjiang region on Saturday, causing widespread damage to residential buildings and leaving at least 24 people injured.
Strong tremors were felt around 5.07 am local time in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, shaking residents out of their beds and leading to temporary power outages.
The epicenter was found to be in a mountainous area along the border of Hejing and Xinyuan counties, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC).
Strong tremors were felt around 5.07 am local time in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
A large number of residential houses were toppled or damaged in Xinyuan county, and hundreds of cattle were killed after their sheds collapsed, a statement from the government of Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, which administers Xinyuan, said.
The quake also triggered landslides and cave-ins on several national and regional highways in Xinjiang, bringing traffic to a halt, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
At least 24 people have been injured in the quake, local authorities said. The CENC has launched a level-three emergency response following the quake and local authorities have sent work teams and organised rescue efforts in affected areas.
Experts said the quake-hit region, located about 3,500 metres above sea level, was geologically active in history. Two earthquakes measuring more than 7 on the Richter scale have jolted the region since 1900.