April 20, 2013 - 13:01 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A strong 6.6 magnitude earthquake has hit China's Sichuan province, killing at least 71 people and injuring about 2,200, RTE reported.
The epicentre is close to where a major earthquake killed almost 70,000 people in 2008.
The earthquake occurred at 8.02am (1.02am Irish time) in Lushan county near Ya'an city and the epicentre had a depth of 12km, the US Geological Survey said.
Most of the deaths were concentrated in Lushan, where water and electricity were cut off. Pictures on Chinese news sites showed collapsed buildings and people in bloodied bandages being treated in hospital.
Xinhua said rescuers in Lushan had pulled 32 survivors out of rubble.