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Strong quake jolts western China; 17 hurt

Updated 10:38 PM ET

(AP) BEIJING - A strong earthquake jolted China's far-western frontier early Saturday, shaking buildings and cutting off electricity in the remote mountainous area and injuring at least 17 people.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake, which hit China's Xinjiang region, at magnitude-6.3, while China's Earthquake Networks Center put it at 6.6.

The Xinjiang regional government reported no deaths but said 17 people were injured. China's state-run Xinhua News Agency said most of the victims were tourists.

Residents near the epicenter were shaken out of bed in pre-dawn darkness and some households lost electricity, Xinhua reported. The quake toppled several buildings 300 kilometers (186 miles) to the west in the regional capital, Urumqi, Xinhua said, adding that rescuers had been dispatched to the sparsely populated area to search for casualties.

An official from the Xinjiang Earthquake Bureau said the quake was "strongly felt" in Urumqi. The man, who gave only his surname, Jian, said Urumqi residents rushed into the streets when the quake hit but returned home after 6 a.m.

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