Deadly earthquake hits China ahead of Games

Posted by Nick Dutton -

(CNN) -- A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck China's Sichuan province on Tuesday, killing at least one person and seriously injuring five others, a local emergency official told CNN.

The official said another 18 people suffered minor injuries.

The Sichuan region is still recovering from the after-effects of a devastating 7.9-magnitude temblor in May.

The quake's epicenter was located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north-northwest of Guangyuan, near Sichuan's border with neighboring Gansu province.

Hours before the quakes struck, the Olympic torch relay made its way through parts of Sichuan, on its way to the Summer Games, which get under way Friday in Beijing, some 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) away.

The earthquake occurred at 5.49 p.m. local time (0949 GMT), news agency Xinhua said -- striking a few hours after the relay made its final stop in the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu.

That tremor killed almost 70,000 people and left 18,000 missing and 5 million homeless. There had been 22,019 aftershocks detected since then -- including three in the past four days before the last incidence.

Tuesday's casualties were in Yaodu Township, which was also severely affected by the May 12 quake, a Qingchuan County official told Xinhua.

The quake also disrupted communications in Yaodu, Xinhua said, but details of other damage were not yet available yet.

The epicenter of the initial quake was about 290 kilometers (180 miles) southwest from Tuesday's temblor.

It was felt in the cities of Hanzhong and Xi'an, both in neighboring Shaanxi province, as well as Chongqing. Many people rushed out of buildings in those cities, Xinhua reported.

CNN contributed contributed this report.