A powerful earthquake struck the steep hills of China's southwestern Sichuan province today, leaving at least 156 people dead and more than 5,500 injured. This morning's quake triggered landslides and disrupted phone and power connections in mountainous Lushan county five years after a devastating quake wreaked widespread damage across the region. The village of Longmen was hit particularly hard, with authorities saying nearly all the buildings there had been destroyed in a frightening minute-long shaking by the quake.
The quake—measured by the China Earthquake Administration at magnitude-7.0 and by the US Geological Survey at 6.6—struck the steep hills of Lushan county shortly after 8am. The quake's shallow depth, less than 8 miles, likely magnified the impact. Tens of thousands of people moved into tents or cars, unable to return home or too afraid to go back as aftershocks continued to jolt the region.