SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Nine people have been killed, including six tourists, and 164 injured in an earthquake that struck a remote and mountainous part of southwest China’s Sichuan province, the local government and official media said on Wednesday.
The quake hit a sparsely populated area 200 km (120 miles) west-northwest of the city of Guangyuan on Tuesday evening at a depth of 10 km (6 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was also close to the Jiuzhaigou nature reserve, a tourist destination.
The Sichuan government said 100 tourists had been trapped by a landslide following the quake. The official China News Service said on Wednesday that six tourists were among the dead.
As many as 31,500 tourists have been evacuated from the quake zone, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday morning.
The Sichuan fire service said the reception area in a hotel had collapsed, trapping some people, but that 2,800 people had been safely evacuated from the building.
There was no confirmation of the nationalities of any of the tourists, but Jiuzhaigou is far more popular with Chinese tourists than foreigners.
The Sichuan earthquake administration measured the quake at a magnitude of 7.0. The administration said the epicenter of the tremor was in Ngawa prefecture, largely populated by ethnic Tibetans, many of whom are nomadic herders.
Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Richard Pullin