URUMQI, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Local authorities said at least 17 people have been injured after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake jolted northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region early Saturday morning.
Strong tremors were felt widely in the region, including the regional capital of Urumqi, shaking residents off beds and causing temporary blackouts when the quake occurred at 5:07 a.m.
The epicenter was monitored at 43.4 degrees north latitude and 84.8 degrees east longitude, a mountainous area along the border of Hejing and Xinyuan counties, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).
The quake has damaged or toppled an unconfirmed number of houses in Hejing, and falling objects have injured 17 people, one seriously, a county government official said.
Traffic on Highway 315 was interrupted after cave-ins were reported after 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.
An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale jolted northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region at 5:07 a.m. Saturday (Beijing Time), according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.