17 injured in 6.6 magnitude quake in China

 A strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake jolted northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region today, leaving at least 17 people injured.

Strong tremors were felt widely in the region, including its capital Urumqi, shaking residents off beds and causing temporary blackouts when the quake occurred at 5:07 am local time, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The epicenter was located in the mountainous area along the border of Hejing and Xinyuan counties, according to the China Earthquake Networks Centre (CENC).

The quake damaged or toppled an unspecified number of houses in Hejing, and falling objects left 17 people injured, one of them seriously, a county government official said.
Traffic on a key highway was interrupted after cave-ins were reported following the quake.
Railway authorities also suspended 32 passenger and freight trains in Xinjiang for safety reasons.

The CENC has launched a level three emergency response following the quake.
Officials of the region's Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, which administers Xinyuan, and Bayingolin Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture, which administers Hejing, have sent work teams to the quake-hit area.

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