A strong earthquake has rocked the western Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Gansu.

The quake measured a potentially destructive 6.0 magnitude on the Richter scale, the US Geological Survey reported.

The quake was centred 48km north-northwest of Guangyuan, China, at a depth of 9.92km, USGS said.

A shallow quake of that magnitude is capable of significant property damage.

In May a 7.9 magnitude quake hit the region killing at least 70,000 people.