Beijing: A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake followed by several aftershocks on Monday hit parts of China`s Tibet province, destroying at least 21 homes and damaging 17 others in the remote Himalayan region. However, no casualties have been reported so far.
The quake hit the border region of Zogang County and Markam County in Qamdo Prefecture, some 1,000 km southeast of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.
According to the emergency office in Tibet, the quake was also felt in southern Yunnan Province and the local government is investigating relevant damage.
The Tibet military area command under the People`s Liberation Army initiated emergency response. It has assembled soldiers and medical staff to rescue and relocate affected people and to inspect affected buildings in quake-hit areas.
"We felt strong tremors in the county seat when the quake took place, and damage has been seen to houses and roads, but I have received no immediate report of casualties," Zhang Hongjun, head of the local unit of ruling Communist Party, told state-run Xinhua news agency.
However, Zhang is worried for the villagers in Ringo, a mountainous town with a population of 3,476, which is right on the epicentre, and is about 75 kms away from the county seat of Zogang.
"It will take us more time to figure out the situation there, as eight of the 12 villages in Ringo are not accessible by telecommunication or highway, so the rescuers have to go there on foot," he said.
Aftershocks have been occurring in the quake-hit area, with the strongest being 5.1 in magnitude, and another rescue team sent by the government of Qamdo Prefecture is on its way to the affected areas.
Just three weeks ago, a 6.6-magnitude quake jolted Minxian and Zhangxian counties in the northwestern province of Gansu, killing at least 95 people.