Strong quake kills at least 175 in southern China

Beijing - A strong earthquake in southern China's Yunnan province toppled thousands of homes on Sunday, killing at least 175 people and injuring more than 1 400.

About 12 000 homes collapsed in Ludian, a densely populated county of 429 000 people located around 366km northeast of Yunnan province's capital, Kunming, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The magnitude-6.1 quake struck at 16:30 at a depth of 10km, according to the US Geological Survey. Its epicentre was in Longtoushan township, 23km southwest of the city of Zhaotong, the Ludian county seat.

Ma Liya, a resident of Zhaotong, told Xinhua that the streets there were like a "battlefield after bombardment". She added that her neighbour's house, a new two-storey building, had toppled.

Xinhua said at least 175 people were killed in the quake, with 181 missing and 1 402 injured.

News reports said rescuers were still trying to reach victims in more remote towns on Sunday night.