At least 46 people have died after an earthquake hit southwest China’s Sichuan province on Monday, according to an update from Chinese broadcaster CCTV on Monday.

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake with a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles) was reported southwest of Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu. around 1 p.m. local time Monday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

The quake’s epicenter was about 43 kilometers (27 miles) southeast of Kangding, a city of about 100,000 people, according to the USGS. It is estimated that more than a million people in the surrounding areas suffered moderate tremors as a result of the quake, he added.


At least 50 people were also injured and 16 others are still missing, CCTV reported.

China has activated a Level 3 emergency response and dispatched rescuers to Luding County near the epicenter, according to China’s State Council. Chinese broadcaster CGTN said rescuers were helping to clear roads blocked by landslides caused by the quake.

Sichuan, a province of 84 million people, was already facing a very difficult summer before the powerful earthquake. Over the past two months, the province has suffered from drought and its worst heat waves in 60 years.

The landlocked area is prone to earthquakes due to the Langmenshan Fault which runs through the Sichuan Mountains.

A magnitude 7.9 earthquake that hit Sichuan in 2008 was one of the most devastating in the country. Nearly 90,000 people were killed and tremors were felt in towns more than 1,450 kilometers (900 miles) away.

Last year, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan, killing three people and injuring 60, according to state media at the time.