The tremor jolted Xinyuan county at 9.10 p.m. (local time) on Thursday at a depth of eight km. The epicentre was 59 km away from the county seat.
About 1,800 public servants at various levels have been summoned to relocate residents, ease panic and raise relief materials, sources said.
Similar devastation was witnessed by Taiwan when a major earthquake hit it on February 6. The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck Taiwan on February 6 increased to 94 with some 30 people still reported missing, the authorities announced on Friday.