At least 21 people were injured and more than 21,000 had to be evacuated as a result of a magnitude-5.3 earthquake that rattled the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan on Saturday, official media reported.

According to the Xinhua news agency, the quake struck at 6:40 a.m. Saturday and its epicenter was located in the municipal area of Xiluodu, where the country's second-largest hydroelectric power plant is located.

The temblor caused the collapse of 75 homes, damages to another 2,700, and landslides on mountains of the region.

Local authorities said the hydroelectric plant suffered no damage from the earthquake, nor were communications in the area interrupted.

Many of the inhabitants felt the temblor and ran terrified out of their houses.

Western China is a frequent scene of earthquakes, being a friction zone between Asian and Indian tectonic plates.

The worst quake in the region in recent decades was in Sichuan province near Yunnan in May 2008, when around 90,000 people died in a magnitude-8 temblor whose epicenter was located in Wenchuan county. EFE