An earthquake toppled more than 1,000 houses and apartment buildings in China's southwest on Thursday, killing at least 24 people and injuring more than 200, officials and state media said.
Photos from the scene showed buildings that buckled, crushing their lower floors. Police, firefighters and soldiers rushed to the area to pull out people trapped in the rubble, including a man and girl stuck in the stairwell of a four-story building, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.
Parts of a supermarket and a hotel caved in, while sidewalks were lined with injured people on blankets being shielded from the sun by large vendor umbrellas.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported that 24 people had been killed, including four students, citing the Yingjiang county government in Yunnan province. Another 207 people were injured, 33 of them in critical condition.
The website of the Chinese government earthquake monitoring station said the magnitude-5.8 quake was centred in Yingjiang and struck just before 1 p.m. local time at a depth of 10 kilometres. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at a magnitude of 5.4 and at a deeper 35 kilometres.
Some 1,200 houses or apartments were crushed by the quake, said Zhao Yunshan, director of Yingjiang government press office. More than 127,000 people have been evacuated to nearby shelters, Xinhua reported, citing the Civil Affairs Ministry.
According to the USGS, more than one million people may have been exposed to the worst shaking.
Tremors continued to be felt in the area throughout the afternoon and evening, according to CCTV reporter Shu Qian, who was at the disaster scene in Yingjiang County.
By evening, the power supply was still cut off, though water and communications didn't appear to be damaged, Shu said.
A government team and more than 1,000 soldiers have been dispatched to the quake-stricken area, CCTV said. About 5,000 tents, 10,000 quilts and 10,000 coats are also being sent from the central government.
The mountainous area lies 2,400 kilometres southwest of Beijing, close to the border with Burma, also known as Myanmar, and is home to many ethnic groups on both sides of the border, which sees heavy traffic in people and goods.
Xinhua said the quake-prone region has been hit by more than 1,000 minor tremors over the past two months.
The Meteorological Department in Burma released a statement saying a quake had hit some 370 kilometres northeast of Mandalay, the country's second-largest city.
The statement did not mention injuries, damage or the specific area of Myanmar most affected by the quake.
Authorities in the tightly ruled country tend not to immediately discuss the effects of natural disasters.