China hit by 2nd earthquake of 6.6 magnitude

China was rattled by a second earthquake of 6.6 magnitude on Wednesday, injuring 32 people, even as rescue efforts were on in Sichuan province where a powerful quake a day earlier killed 19 people.

An earthquake of 7.0 magnitude jolted a tourist destination in Sichuan on Tuesday night. The second quake in Jinghe county in Bortala prefecture in Xinjiang province happened at 7.27am at a depth of 11km, Xinhua news agency reported.

Of the 32 injured, two were in a serious condition. A total of 142 homes collapsed, authorities said.

At least 121 aftershocks were recorded as of 1pm with the magnitude of 6. About 600 houses and livestock sheds were damaged in neighbouring Ili Kazakh prefecture.

Services of 40 passenger trains were stopped and 21 others suspended.

Earlier reports said residents in Jinghe county and the cities of Urumqi, Changji, Yining and Karamay felt strong tremors that lasted 10 to 20 seconds.

The epicentre was 37km from Jinghe county seat, 93km from Bole city, and 383km from Urumqi.

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Jinghe county has a population of about 150,000. A total of 65 quakes greater than magnitude 3 have been recorded within 200km of the epicentre over the past five years, the current being the greatest.