China earthquake: Strong tremor leaves 46 dead in Sichuan province

Buildings in Chengdu shake after 6.6-magnitude quake strikes at a depth of 10 kilometres

In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, fallen rocks are seen on a road near Lengqi Town in Luding County of southwest China's Sichuan Province Monday, Sept.  5, 2022. Xinhua via AP
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An earthquake of magnitude 6.6 in southwestern Sichuan province in China has killed 46 people, state television CCTV reported on Monday.

The earthquake hit about 43 kilometres south-east of the city of Kangding in Sichuan province at a depth of 10 kilometres, the USGS said. Shallower quakes tend to cause more damage.

Users on the microblogging site Sina Weibo reported landslides in the area.

Tremors were felt in the nearby provincial capital Chengdu, which is currently under a Covid-19 lockdown, and the megacity of Chongqing, residents said.

"I felt it quite strongly," a Chengdu resident surnamed Chen told AFP. "Some of my neighbours on the ground floor said they felt it very clearly."

A resident of Chongqing said the quake was "pretty noticeable" and made the lights and furniture in his apartment shake.

Earthquakes are fairly common in China, especially in the country's seismically active south-west.

An 8.0-magnitude earthquake in 2008 in Sichuan's Wenchuan county killed tens of thousands and caused enormous damage.

At least four people were killed and dozens more injured after two earthquakes hit south-western China in June.

On that occasion, a shallow 6.1-magnitude quake hit a sparsely populated area about 100 kilometres west of Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan with a population of 21 million.

The region has also suffered a summer of extreme weather, with a record-breaking heatwave noticeably drying rivers in Chongqing.

Updated: September 05, 2022, 5:08 PM