Residents leave their homes and gather in a public square after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake which struck near Ya’an city, in Chengdu, Sichuan
Residents leave their homes and gather in a public square after a 6.6 magnitude earthquake which struck near Ya'an city, in Chengdu, Sichuan province, April 20, 2013. About 100 people could have died or been injured in the earthquake on Saturday, close to where a massive temblor struck in 2008, killing almost 70,000. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA (STRINGER/CHINA)

SHANGHAI About 100 people may be injured, with 28 confirmed fatalities, in a 6.6 magnitude earthquake which struck near Ya'an city in China's southwestern province of Sichuan on Saturday, close to where a massive temblor struck in 2008, killing almost 70,000.

The earthquake occurred at 8.02 a.m. local time (0002 GMT) in Lushan county and the epicenter had a depth of 13 km (8 miles), state news agency Xinhua reported.

The quake was felt strongly by residents in neighboring provinces and in the provincial capital city of Chengdu, causing many to rush outside, according to accounts on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblogging service.

The official the official China News Service reported 28 people were confirmed dead so far. Reports carried by other state media, citing Sichuan authorities, including the People's Daily microblog, said around 100 could have died or been injured.

Multiple aftershocks jolted the area after the quake took place. The largest aftershock in magnitude was marked at 5.1, shaking Sichuan's Lushan and Baoxing counties at 8:07 a.m.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially put the magnitude at 7, but later revised it down.

A resident in Chengdu, 140 km (85 miles) from Ya'an city, told Xinhua he was on the 13th floor of a building when he felt the quake. The building shook for about 20 seconds and he saw tiles fall from nearby buildings.


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(Reporting by Melanie Lee and Lu Jianxin; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Ron Popeski)