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Chinese President Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang ordered all possible measures to be taken to rescue victims and minimize deaths and injuries, after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the southwestern Sichuan Province Saturday morning.
The State Council, or the cabinet, has launched a first-grade emergency response to the earthquake.
The earthquake jolted Lushan County of Ya’an City at 8:02 a.m. Beijing Time.
The epicenter, with a depth of 13 km, was monitored at 30.3 degrees north latitude and 103.0 degrees east longitude.
Ya’an has a population of 1.53 million and is known as the hometown of the giant panda.
It is about 140 kilometres away from the provincial capital Chengdu City.