The epicenter was located at 43.83 degrees north latitude and 86.35 degrees east longitude. The quake struck at a depth of 6 km, and was felt strongly in Urumqi, the regional capital 100 km away, and other parts of northern Xinjiang.
The moderate quake was followed by more than 140 aftershocks on Thursday afternoon, including six measuring between 3 and 3.9 magnitude.
Seven houses were toppled, another 18 were severely damaged and 379 had cracks following the tremor, according to the local command center for earthquakes.
The China Earthquake Administration has launched an emergency response, and work teams have been sent to Xinjiang to help with relief work.
Wang Guiqin, who lives on the second floor of a building in Hutubi, told Xinhua that “the building was shaking and the lamp looked like it would fall. The balcony door shook open.”
Liu Xingguo in Hutubi said he was in his yard when the quake struck. He felt the ground shaking, but his brick house was undamaged. He did not see any other houses collapse in the village.
A Xinhua reporter in Urumqi said his office building shook for more than 10 seconds.
Drink cans and bottles fell from shelves in a supermarket in Urumqi.
Local schools in Hutubi suspended classes on Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, 24 trains have been affected as local railway authorities suspended rail services out of safety concerns.
A safety check was conducted on railway facilities between Urumqi and Kuytun, according to the Urumqi Railway Bureau.
The quake’s epicenter was in northern Hutubi, a sparsely-populated region at an altitude of 1,500 meters. More than 70 percent of houses in Hutubi and the neighboring regions of Manas and Shihezi are government-subsidized earthquake-proof properties. – CRI
Special coverage on China's Two Party Sessions by The Daily Mail - People's Daily