The quake was felt in the provincial capital Chengdu, about 300 kms south of the epicentre, and other regions in the neighbouring provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi.

Beijing : At least 19 people were killed and about 250 others injured in the powerful 7.0 magnitude earthquake that jolted a mountainous region in China’s southwest Sichuan province rose to 19 on Wednesday with rescuers racing against time to find survivors buried in the rubble.

The massive temblor that struck the popular tourist destination last night was followed by another quake of 6.6- magnitude in the Xinjiang province this morning in which at least three persons were injured.

The massive earthquake in Sichuan struck at 9:19 PM (local time) on Tuesday and the epicentre was monitored at a depth of 20 km, state-run Xinhua new agency reported.

Jiuzhaigou, or Jiuzhai Valley, is a national park known for spectacular waterfalls and karst formations. More than 34,000 people visited the tourist attraction on Tuesday. The death toll in the quake in Sichuan has risen to 19, with 247 injured, including 40 seriously, local authorities said.

The injured included a French man and a Canadian woman. Maxence Vallon, 18, was wounded in both legs; while the Canadian woman, who declined to be named, suffered slight injury in the head, the report said. Both were being treated at a hospital of Jiuzhaigou county. The exact number of casualties of foreign nationals in the disaster was not immediately known.

“We were lying on an open ground to seek shelter when a big stone fell and hit my brother right in the leg,” said Romain Vallon, who studies in Beijing.

The brothers were staying in a hotel with their mother in Jiuzhaigou when the quake struck. Five among the dead were visitors to the Jiuzhaigou national park, China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC) said.

So far 31,500 tourists have been relocated. Tourist coaches and private vehicles have been pressed into service to help transport the stranded tourists. Power, communication and water supply in the county seat have been restored. So far the Jiuzhaigou county has dispatched more than 90 emergency vehicles and 1,200 personnel for the rescue work.

Flood kills 25

Beijing : The death toll on Wednesday rose to 25 in a flash flood which hit a village following heavy rains in China’s southwest Sichuan province, authorities said. Authorities on Wednesday recovered the body of the last missing person.

Four persons were also injured in the flood which struck at around 6 AM (local time) on Tuesday in Puge county’s Gengdi village in Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an official as saying.

So far the flood has affected 577 people of 157 households and destroyed 71 houses. Several roads and bridges were also damaged.

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