At least seven people were killed on Tuesday when a 6.5-magnitude earthquake shook a largely Tibetan region of southwest China's Sichuan Province, and the government warned as many as 100 were feared dead, according to local residents and Chinese state media.
The quake hit near the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve, a popular tourist destination a UNESCO World Heritage Site, trapping some tourists and injuring scores of people, Chinese media said, quoting the Sichuan government.
Reuters news agency quoted Chinese state television as saying seven people had been killed and 88 were injured, 21 of them seriously. The official People's Daily said five of the dead were tourists.
The epicenter was in a township of 20,000 people called Kyangtsa, in Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) prefecture, a remote part of Sichuan Province, a local source said.
"Under the impact of the tremor, power was disrupted in the entire county. In the same county, some structures built for tourists were also damaged and landslides were reported at different parts of road in the county," a source in Tibet told RFA's Tibetan Service.
"The tremor was very frightening and we are scared to sleep now, the source added.
"Many places in Qinghai and Gansu experienced the tremor of this earthquake,” said the source, referring to neighboring provinces, also mostly populated by Tibetans.
AFP news agency quoted the China's National Commission for Disaster Reduction as estimating that as many as 100 people may have died, based on 2010 census data of the area.
Reuters news agency quoted a Sichuan government official social media site as saying more than 38,000 tourists were visiting Jiuzhaigou.
The region hit by Tuesday's temblor was the site of a major earthquake in May 2008 that killed almost 70,000 people.
Reported by Chakmo Tso and Lhuboom for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Paul Eckert.