An earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude jolted Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region at 5:07 am on Saturday, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.
The epicenter was monitored at 43.4 degrees north latitude and 84.8 degrees east longitude, a mountainous area along the border of Hejing and Xinyuan counties. The focus, the point of rupture in the Earth itself, was a mere 7 km down.
Local authorities said the quake has affected 22,000 residents, and falling objects have injured at least 41 people including one heavily wounded. As of Saturday afternoon no deaths were reported; investigation of injuries and property damage from the quake is still under way.
A large number of residential houses were toppled or damaged in Xinyuan county, and hundreds of cattle were killed when their sheds collapsed, said a statement from the government of the Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, which administers Xinyuan.
Railway authorities suspended 32 passenger and freight trains in Xinjiang for safety reasons. Service resumed at around 10:45 am on Saturday, after thorough safety checks along the routes, said the Urumqi Railway Bureau.
Traffic on Highway 217 was interrupted after cave-ins and landslides were reported after the quake. About 120 people and a number of vehicles were stranded. The CENC declared a level-three emergency following the quake and local authorities sent workers and organized rescue teams into affected areas.
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