6.6-magnitude quake strikes China's Sichuan

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck China's southwestern Sichuan province at a depth of 12 kilometres (7.4 miles) on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said.

Sichuan, like neighbouring areas, is prone to such tremors and saw one of the country's worst quakes in decades in 2008 that left 87,000 people missing or dead.

No casualties were yet reported in the latest quake, which hit just after 8 am (0000 GMT) and was felt in the provincial capital of Chengdu 114 kilometres to the east, the state news agency Xinhua reported.

Xinhua put the quake at magnitude 7.0 with a depth of 13 kilometres, citing the China Earthquake Networks Centre, while the USGS downgraded the quake from an earlier reading of 6.9.

Earthquakes frequently strike the country's southwest, with twin tremors in neighbouring Yunnan province last September triggering landslides that left at least 80 people dead.