China Earthquake: 6.6-Magnitude Quake Hits Sichuan Province; Dozens Feared Dead, Over 600 Injured

By Gopi Chandra Kharel on April 20, 2013 12:51 AM EDT

China Earthquake
view of a collapsed building with a sign reading, "Lushan Kindergarden" after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit southwestern China's Sichuan province is seen in this April 20, 2013 still image taken More... (Photo: REUTERS/China Central Televisi)

At Least 100 people were feared dead as a powerful earthquake jolted China's Sichuan Province at 8: 02 a.m. (Beijing time) Saturday injuring over 600 others, Reuters reported.

The quake, which was initially reported as 7.0 magnitude by China Earthquake Networks Centre and later revised by US Geological Survey (USGS) as 6.6 magnitude, hit the Lushan country of Ya'an city in Southwest China's Sichuan Province and was reported to have strongly felt by residents of Sichuan's capital city of Chengdu, located 140 kilometres (87 miles) from Ya'an.

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Photos posted online show anxious residents gather outside their apartments to avoid aftershocks of the earthquake. Other pictures show residents running from their apartments.

In May 2008, a powerful 8.0 magnitude quake in the same province killed nearly 90,000 people.

A resident of provincial capital Chengdu told Xinhua that he was on the 13th floor of a building when the earthquake occurred. He said that the building had shaken for about 20 seconds. He said he had seen tiles falling from nearby buildings.

Xinhua said that 2,000 soldiers had already been dispatched to help in residents in rescue efforts.

It was reported that earthquake's epicenter was 30.3 degrees north latitude and 103.0 degrees east longitude, and occurred at a depth of 13 km (8 miles).  The Associated Press reported that the quake's shallow depth of 8 miles could have magnified the impact.

The USGS noted that number of casualties were likely to be "significant" and that "extensive damage is probable and disaster is likely widespread"

Online pictures have shown some concrete buildings destroyed with nearby streets littered with broken breaks and cements. 

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