BEIJING - A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit southwest China's Yunnan province Sunday, the US Geological Survey said.
The quake struck 11 kilometres (seven miles) west-northwest of the town of Wenping at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres at 4:30 pm (0830 GMT).
USGS warned that "Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking".
State television reported that firefighters were rushing to the epicentre of the quake.
Southwest China lies where the Eurasian and Indian plates meet and is prone to earthquakes.
In 1974, a 6.8-quake in the same area killed more than 1,500 people.
In September 2012, 80 people were killed when twin earthquakes struck the mountainous border area of Yunnan and Guizhou.
In May 2008, an 8.0-magnitude quake rocked Sichuan, which neighbours Yunnan, killing tens of thousands of people and flattening swathes of the province.