(CNN) — At least 22 people are dead and there are fears the number will rise after a strong and shallow earthquake ripped through northwest China Monday morning, according to the Gansu provincial ministry of civil affairs.
Earlier, state broadcast CCTV reported that another 279 people were injured.
The quake hit the province of Gansu around 7:45 a.m. local time, according to state news agency Xinhua.
The Gansu Provincial Seismological Bureau recorded its magnitude as 6.6, however the U.S. Geological Survey measured it as a 5.9-magnitude tremor, which struck at the relatively shallow depth of about half a mile.
Tremors were still being felt from the quake, Xinhua said, quoting sources within the Minxian County government. Locals said buildings and trees shook for about a minute.
According to CCTV, most of the deaths were recorded in Minxian with at least one in Zhang County.
The epicenter was eight miles east of Chabu and 110 miles south-southeast of Lanzhou, the USGS said.