A strong earthquake has rattled the Changning county of Yibin in southwest China's Sichuan province, leaving 12 dead and injuring 125 others, according to China's Ministry of Emergency Management.
On Monday evening, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC), the earthquake's epicentre with a depth of 16 km was monitored at 28.34 degrees north latitude and 104.90 degrees east longitude.
The US Geological Survey has stated that there were two earthquakes, with a quake of magnitude 5.9 which was followed by a smaller one of 5.2 magnitudes, both at a depth of 10 km (6 miles) and centred near Changning county.
Chinese authorities have stated that people in nearby cities, such as Chengdu and Chongqing, also felt strong shocks. The Ministry of Emergency Management has activated an emergency response and sent a work team to the stricken areas to provide guidance in rescue and disaster relief, reported China Daily.
The National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration have also reportedly dispatched 5,000 tents, 10,000 folding beds and 20,000 quilts to the quake-hit areas.
It is reported that several aftershocks have followed. Local houses and roads, as well as power and communication facilities, suffered damages.
China's railway website has notified that due to the earthquake, some railway journeys in Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, have been cancelled.
The Chinese authorities have reported that the country is struck by an average of 20 earthquakes measuring 5 on the Richter scale every year. In 2008, an earthquake measuring 8.0 magnitude in Sichuan killed 87,587 people. Since 2000, more than 91,800 people have been killed by earthquakes in the country reported state media.