Powerful earthquake kills at least 19 in China, hundreds injured

Rubble sits in front of a hotel after an earthquake struck Jiuzhaigou County in China's Sichuan Province.

Story highlights

  • Chinese state media updates death toll to 19
  • Another quake in far western China hit Wednesday morning

(CNN)At least 19 people were killed and 247 more injured late Tuesday after a powerful earthquake struck a popular tourist area in southwest China, according to state media.

Of those hurt, about 40 are in a serious condition, state news agency Xinhua reported.
    The quake struck Jiuzhaigou County in China's southwestern Sichuan Province late on Tuesday night.
    At least five of the people who died were tourists, Xinhua reported, citing the information office of the provincial government. About 2,800 people were evacuated from the severely damaged Intercontinental hotel.
    Rescuers are still working to clear the rubble, and there are people buried beneath the debris, state broadcaster CCTV said.
    There was some disagreement over the size and power of the earthquake.
    The US Geological Survey reported a magnitude-6.5 quake 35 kilometers (22 miles) west-southwest of Yongle, Xinhua reported it was 7.0-magnitude, citing the China Earthquake Networks Center.
    Residents in Chengdu, the provincial capital -- 300 kilometers (186 miles) away from the epicenter -- told state media they had felt the quake.
    Chinese paramilitary police search for survivors after an earthquake in Jiuzhaigou in southwest China's Sichuan province early on August 9.
    The China Earthquake Administration has launched a Level I emergency response, the highest of its four levels, according to state media.
    Almost 400 fire trucks and more than 1,100 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, CCTV said. They are bringing with them 55 life detectors, 30 rescue dogs and 24 generators.