UPDATED: At least 400 people are dead, thousands injured and others buried under rubble after a series of strong earthquakes in western China.
Mud and wood homes collapsed and people poured into the streets for safety and to look for relatives.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the main quake was a magnitude 6.9 temblor. There were aftershocks of 5.2 and stronger.
The China Earthquake Administration said phone lines were down, hindering rescue efforts, while workers were racing to release water from a reservoir where a crack had formed after the quake.
Chinese state television says the death toll from a strong earthquake in a western province has risen to about 300 with another 8,000 hurt as rescue workers struggle to dig trapped people out.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured a magnitude of 6.9. Three aftershocks measured magnitude 5.2 or more.
Rescue efforts were hindered by telecommunications problems, with phone lines down.