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Magnitude 6.6 Earthquake Strikes China

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck Sichuan Province in China at 8:47 a.m. local time (0047 UTC) on Saturday, April 20.

The earthquake was initially reported as a 7.0-magnitude, then revised down to a 6.9, according to estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was relatively shallow, occuring at a depth of 7.6 miles (12.3 kilometers), the USGS reported. The epicenter was 31 miles (50 kilometers) west-southwest of the city of Linqiong, China and 71 miles (114 km) from Chengdu.

The USGS reports that the "event likely occurred on the Longmenshan fault" and that it "reflects tectonic stresses resulting from the convergence of crustal material slowly moving from the high Tibetan Plateau, to the west, against strong crust underlying the Sichuan Basin and southeastern China."

"A 6.9 quake is capable of causing severe damage," reported Reuters.