A powerful earthquake of 6.2-magnitute on Richter scale today jolted Hutubi County in northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, shaking buildings and forcing evacuation of students from schools.
The quake struck at 1:15 PM (local time) in Changji city, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC).
The epicentre of the quake, located at 43.83 degrees north latitude and 86.35 degrees east longitude, with a depth of 6 km, was strongly felt in Urumqi, the regional capital, and other places such as Ili and Shihezi in northern Xinjiang.
The earthquake shook houses violently in the prefecture, damaging lights on the ceilings. The quake was also clearly felt in cities of Urumqi, Shihezi and Turpan and prefectures of Ili, Aksu and Bayingol.
People in office buildings and students in schools in the quake-jolted areas were evacuated timely and orderly.
So far, there is no report of casualties and property damages.
Hutubi is about 100 km away from Urumqi.
"The building was shaking and the lamp in my home looked like falling down. The hooks of the window curtain rang and the balcony door opened because of the shake," Wang Guiqin, a resident who lives on the second floor of a building in Hutubi, was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.
Report said students were evacuated from schools in the affected areas.
A reporter in Urumqi said his office building shook for more than 10 seconds. Drinks cans and bottles fell to the ground from shelves in a superstore in Urumqi.
A county official in Hutubi said no houses collapsed in the urban area. Officials are checking the damage of two townships hit by the quake.
Fire fighters and quake officials are on their way to the county. Over 200 soldiers have also joined the rescue operation, Xinhua reported.
Local railway transport has been suspended due to the earthquake and 19 trains were affected.
The Seismological Bureau of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has initiated a level-2 emergency response and dispatched staff members to the epicenter area.
This is the first above 6-magnitude earthquake in the autonomous region so far this year.