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Powerful Earthquake Jolts Remote Area of Tibet

A strong earthquake struck a remote area of Tibet on Wednesday, but no injuries were reported, a government official said.

"The earthquake occurred in Ali district Gaize county of Tibet, around 4:30 pm (0830 GMT) about 550 kilometres (350 miles) northwest of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, the regional seismological bureau and the China Earthquake Administration reported.

There are no damage reports so far," said an official of the State Seismological Bureau, who would give only his surname Shan.

It registered a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, the seismological bureau said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

The United States Geological Service gave the quake's magnitude as 4.2.

According to the China Mapping Publishing House, Gaize county covers an area of 135,000 square kilometres (54,000 square miles), but in 2005 had a population of only 16,900.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.