A major earthquake measuring 7.8 Richter Scale jolted Wenchuan County of Southwest China's Sichuan province at 2:28 p.m. on Monday. The quake was also felt in the capital city of Beijing and Xinhua reporters in Zhengzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing also reported major tremors at around 2 p.m. Monday.
A major earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted Wenchuan County in southwest China's Sichuan Province at 2:28 p.m. on Monday, the State Seismological Bureau (SSB) said, revising its previous figure of 7.6.
The epicenter of the quake was located 31.0 degrees north latitude and 103.4 degrees east longitude, the bureau said.
With a population of 111,800, Wenchuan lies in the southeast part of the Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba, 146 kilometers northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan.
Wenchuan is home to the Wolong Nature Reserve, China's leading research and breeding base for endangered giant pandas.
Minutes later, at 2:35 p.m., an earthquake measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale jolted Tongzhou District in east Beijing. That quake's epicenter was 39.8 north latitude and 116.8 east longitude, according to the SSB.
Xinhua reporters in many other parts of China also reported tremors. Reporters in Chengdu said they saw cracks on the walls of some residential buildings in the downtown area, but no building collapsed.
Telecom networks in the cities of Chengdu, Chongqing and Zhengzhou paralyzed after the quake. People complained they were unable to complete calls on either fixed lines or cell phones.
The water fountain at Xinhua's Chengdu Bureau toppled, TVs and bookshelves rocked, and books and documents spread on the floor.