Strong earthquake hits southwestern China

The U.S. Geological Survey says a strong earthquake has hit Sichuan province in southwestern China. There were no immediate reports of serious damage or injuries, but the USGS warned there could be damage and casualties.

It says the earthquake hit late Monday about 19 kilometers (12 miles) from the city of Changning. It says it was centered at a fairly shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage to buildings and infrastructure.

A 1976 earthquake centered in the northeastern city of Tangshan killed at least 250,000 people. China's worst earthquake in recent years struck the mountainous western portion of Sichuan province in 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people.