China's Sichuan hit by 6.5 magnitude quake: USGS

Rescuers carry a man injured in a landslide in Gengdi village in southwestern China's Sichuan province. (AP)
Rescuers carry a man injured in a landslide in Gengdi village in southwestern China's Sichuan province. (AP)

Beijing - A 6.5-magnitude earthquake rattled southwest China late on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said, with early reports of collapsed houses and evacuations.

The quake occurred around 21.20 in a remote region of Sichuan province not far from the site of a massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake in 2008 that left 87 000 people dead or missing.

Casualties from Tuesday's quake remain unknown.

Its epicentre was 284km north of the provincial capital Chengdu and struck at a depth of 10km, the USGS said.

The jolted region, Jiuzhaigou county, includes one of the country's most famous national parks, a Unesco World Heritage Site famed for lakes in shades of otherworldly turquoise blue.

Some houses at the scenic spot collapsed following the quake and authorities were organising young people to help evacuate residents, a staff worker at the park told the official Xinhua news agency.

The quake was strong enough to be felt in Chengdu, Xinhua said.

China is regularly hit by earthquakes, especially its mountainous western and southwestern regions.

Earlier today, a landslide triggered by heavy rains killed at least 24 people in a different, mountainous region of Sichuan to the south of Chengdu.

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