The initial quake, of 7.3 magnitude, happened at 6:33 a.m. Beijing time. The epicenter was located at 35.6 degrees north latitude and 81.6 degrees east longitude. The strongest jolt, also the earliest one, occurred at 6:33 a.m. The US Geological Survey measured the quake at 7.2 magnitude, at a depth of 22.9 km. Three aftershocks measuring 5.2 to 5 on the Richter scale soon followed between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damages, official Chinese news agency reported.
The epicenter area, about 130 kilometers from the Yutian county seat and 240 kilometers from the Hotian county seat, is a sparsely populated, mountain region.
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, vast in areas, is a relatively sparsely populated region in northwest China.