BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and the National Commission for Disaster Reduction of China issued on Saturday evening a level-IV emergency response to the 5.9-magnitude quake in Tibet.
The quake struck Dingri County in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region at 5:17 p.m. Saturday following strong earthquakes in neighboring Nepal, the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC) said.
The quake has left five dead, 13 critically injured, houses collapsed or ruptured, roads damaged, and telecommunication blocked in some regions, and has triggered several landslides, the MCA said, adding it is still inspecting the damages.
The epicenter of the quake in Tibet was monitored at 28.4 degrees north latitude and 87.3 degrees east longitude, and the focus of the quake was 20 kilometers deep, according to the center.
A massive 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal at 2:11 p.m., followed by a second 7.0-magnitude quake at 2:45 p.m..
Since the first 8.1-magnitude earthquake, minor quakes have been monitored in Tibet and southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, according to the CENC.
The MCA has dispatched a team to the quake zone in Tibet to examine the damages and help local people with their lives. The MCA will deliver relief materials according to demands on the ground.
Relief teams have already rushed to three hardest-hit counties, Nyalam, Saga and Gyirong to rescue and evacuate victims, according to the MCA.
The China Earthquake Administration has initiated a level-III emergency response.
The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has dispatched 224 local firefighters to quake-hit zones with life detecting devices and wrecking machines.
A total of 3,204 firefighters and 87 sniffer dogs from Tibet and neighboring provinces have also been readied to go to the quake-struck areas as a reinforcement.
The MPS has channeled rescue and relief materials worth over 2 million yuan (323,000 U.S. dollars) to Tibet fire department.