Photo taken with a cellphone on July 3, 2015 shows cracks on a building wall at the Pishan Fire Brigade after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Pishan County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Bian Kaiqiang)
BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Four people have been confirmed dead and 48 others injured in a 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Friday morning.
The quake rocked Pishan County of Hotan Prefecture at 9:07 a.m., with the epicenter recorded at 37.6 degrees north latitude and 78.2 degrees east longitude, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).
The jolt, with a depth of 10 km, also demolished or damaged homes and disrupted communications, according to the prefecture committee of the Communist Party of China.
Li Hua, a worker at a state-owned farm in Pishan, told Xinhua that he was left dizzied by a jolt that shook the floor of his fourth-floor home and lasted about a minute.
Shortly after the quake, the area was hit by smaller tremors measuring between 3.0 and 4.6 magnitude, according to the CENC.
An airport in Hotan has been closed, the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) said in a brief statement on its website, quoting reports from the local earthquake administration.
The CEA issued a level-II emergency response to the quake.
Located in southernmost Xinjiang, Pishan is about 1,800 km from the regional capital of Urumqi and covers 39,700 square km. The epicenter is 7.5 km from the county seat.
With a population of 258,000, the county is mainly inhabited by people of Uygur ethnicity.