BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities have dispatched a work team to northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to check the disaster situation and direct rescue work after two earthquakes hit the region Wednesday.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Commission for Disaster Reduction initiated an emergency disaster relief response soon after 5:19 p.m. when a 7.3-magnitude quake struck.
The epicenter, with a depth of 12 km, was located at Yutian county in southwest Xinjiang, or about 36.1 degrees north latitude and 82.5 degrees east longitude, the center said in a statement.
A 5.7-magnitude quake hit the same area at 5:24 p.m. with a depth of 5 km, followed by several quakes less than 5 magnitude, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.
No immediate casualties have been reported, but some houses have probably been toppled or damaged, the ministry said.
The area is sparsely-populated and most residents are Uygurs.