Tibet earthquake causes casualties, rescue under way

Rescuers are on their way to the epicenter of a 5.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Changdu in Tibet Autonomous Region at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday.

Local authorities have said casualties are likely.

The China Earthquake Networks Center monitored the epicenter at 31.99 degrees north latitude and 94.94 degrees east longitude, with a depth of seven kilometers.

Soren, director of the Regional Seismological Bureau, said the epicenter is located in Kata Town, the site of two major Buddhist temples.

Samba, chief of Kata Town, told Xinhua over the phone that he is aware of casualties in Guodong Village, some 10 km from the township seat. He said he had already seen two injured people while on his way to the village for rescue.

Roads leading to the village have caved in. Township authorities have sent machinery for emergency repairs and to assist quake relief.