AT least 118 people have been killed and 400 left injured after a huge 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit northwest China.
Rescuers are scrambling to find survivors in temperatures of -13C after China's deadliest quake in years struck rural Gansu province.
Officials said the shallow quake struck just before midnight 60 miles from Gansu's provincial capital, Lanzhou – with at least 118 confirmed dead in Gansu and Qinghai so far.
At least 20 people remain missing – and the death toll is expected to rise.
Sub zero temperatures means the "golden window" to find survivors is shorter than usual, officials said.
The huge quake damaged more than 5,000 homes – many of them ramshackle brick structures – and sent residents running into the freezing streets for safety.
Dozens of aftershocks rocked the mountainous region – and officials warned tremors with a magnitude of more than 5.0 were possible in the next few days.
The quake is China's deadliest since 2014 when more than 600 people died in southwestern Yunnan province.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called for "all-out efforts" with rescuers digging through mountains of rubble as daylight revealed the extent of the damage from Monday night's quake.
"Temperatures are below freezing in the area, and rescuers should be on guard for secondary disasters," he said, according to CCTV.
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Footage from one of the worst-hit places showed survivors warming themselves by a fire in bitingly cold -13C temperatures as emergency services set up tents.
China's state news agency Xinhua said shaking was felt as far away as the major city of Xi'an – about 350 miles away.
Local reports said more than 1,400 firefighters and rescue personnel had been sent to the disaster zone, while another 1,600 remained "on standby".
Some 200million yuan (£22million) in disaster relief funds has been given to Gansu and Qinghai.
Earthquakes are not uncommon in China.
In August, a shallow 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck the eastern part of the country, injuring 23 people and collapsing dozens of buildings.
In September 2022, a 6.6-magnitude quake hit Sichuan province leaving almost 100 dead.
And in 2010, a 6.9-magnitude quake in Qinghai left 3,000 people dead or missing.
China's deadliest earthquake in recent decades was in 2008 when a magnitude 8.0 struck Sichuan, killing nearly 70,000 people.
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