Quake hits southwestern China, no immediate reports of casualties

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan on Monday but there were no immediate reports of casualties, in a part of the country frequently affected by strong tremors.

Recasts, adds details

BEIJING, June 17 (Reuters) - A 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan on Monday but there were no immediate reports of casualties, in a part of the country frequently affected by strong tremors.

The quake, with a depth of 10 km, was centred near Changning county, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Chinese state media said shaking was felt in major cities in the region, including in the Sichuan provincial capital Chengdu and the metropolis of Chongqing.

The China Earthquake Administration said there were at least three aftershocks.

Pictures posted by state media on their social media accounts showed cracks in some buildings and people rushing into the streets in some cities in Sichuan.

A huge quake in Sichuan in May 2008 killed almost 70,000 people.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard Editing by Mark Heinrich and Gareth Jones)

((ben.blanchard@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 6627 1201; Reuters Messaging: ben.blanchard.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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