A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the China-Kyrgyzstan border, with its epicentre in Wushu county, Aksu prefecture, at 2 a.m. local time. The China Earthquake Networks Centre reported the quake, prompting authorities to respond. Approximately 200 rescuers were dispatched to the epicentre, braving freezing temperatures in the mountainous and rural area predominantly inhabited by Uyghurs.

According to the latest reports, six individuals have been injured, with two sustaining severe injuries and four with minor injuries. More than 120 homes have been damaged.

The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government provided details on the extent of the damage via its official Weibo account. Their post indicated that 47 houses had collapsed, 78 houses were damaged, and several agricultural structures had collapsed in China-Kyrgyzstan border.

The earthquake downed Power lines, leading to initial concerns about electricity supply. However, authorities in Aksu reported a quick restoration of power. State broadcaster CCTV mentioned that several aftershocks, some with magnitudes up to 4.5, followed the main quake.

The earthquake’s impact was not limited to China. The tremors were felt in neighbouring countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. In the Kazakh city of Almaty, residents left their homes to seek refuge in the streets. At the same time, local TV channels in New Delhi, India, reported strong tremors despite the distance from the epicentre.

China’s National Fire and Rescue Administration posted a video on social media depicting firefighters headed to the quake’s epicentre. The earthquake followed a day after a landslide in southwest China buried dozens of people, resulting in at least eight fatalities. In December, another earthquake in northwest China killed 148 people and displaced thousands in Gansu province. That event marked China’s deadliest earthquake since 2014 when over 600 people were killed in southwestern Yunnan province.

The subzero temperatures in Wushu County, compounded by the frigid winter affecting northern and central China, pose additional challenges for rescue and relief operations. Schools and highways have closed due to snowstorms on multiple occasions.