It said that 20,000 homes in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces were damaged. Around 150 people have reportedly sustained injuries.
At 3.19 GMT (8.49 Indian Standard Time), a 5.6 magnitude tremblor shook the entire region. Nearly 45 minutes later, many residents of Yiliang county were devastated by the second quake of the same intensity.
The US Geological Survey stated that both tremblors struck at a depth of 9 km.
In view of the aftershocks, more than a lakh persons have been evacuated from the affected provinces.