Over 381 people have died after a fatally strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck in south-west China at 08:30:13.50 UTC on Sunday.
The temblor, which occurred near Liupanshui, Guizhou, China, brought down thousands of buildings. The quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to USGS.
Chinese state television said majority of the dead came from Ludian County, reportedly the epicenter of the quake. At least 296 people died from that county alone, while the injured reached 1,300 people. About 181 people from the county remain missing.
China's official Xinhua News Agency reported some 12,000 homes collapsed in Ludian. About 429,000 people live in Ludian county, located around 366 kilometres (277 miles) northeast of Yunnan's capital, Kunming.
Many of the homes that collapsed in Ludian were already old and made of brick.
Update: Death toll from China quake rises to 381, Premier Li Keqiang on his way to quake zone pic.twitter.com/iNgXqBFKkW
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) August 4, 2014
— Earthquake Report (@ShakingEarth) August 3, 2014
"All houses in the town have been damaged by the earthquake and at least two thirds of them so badly that they could not be used anymore," the Guardian quoted an unidentified resident from Longquan village. "Every few minutes there are people being carried away from the rubble."
The resident said rescue teams have yet to reach their place, so they are the ones doing the search and rescue among themselves and other residents. He said mobile communications are down and roads have been blocked by the damaged houses.
Xinhua News said the quake toppled down local communications, power and transport lines, a challenge therefore to reach the affected area.
Ma Liya, who personally experienced the September 2012 earthquake that killed 81 lives and injured 821, said Sunday's temblor was worse.
"The aftermath is much, much worse than what happened after the quake two years ago," Ma told Xinhua. "I have never felt such strong tremors before. What I can see are all ruins."
Tang Shaoyuan, another villager, told Xinhua he saw two of his neighbors buried under the ruins.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said the quake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years.
Meantime, a vision group that calls themselves Harvest Army World Revival claimed to have foreseen the catastrophic temblor to hit China seven days ago.