A powerful earthquake rocked a remote region on the edge of the Tibetan plateau late on Monday, killing at least 118 people and injuring hundreds more in Gansu and Qinghai provinces, state media reported.

The quake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale, struck Jishishan county in Gansu at 11:59 p.m. local time, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center. The epicentre was near the border with Qinghai, where the quake was also strongly felt.

Rescue workers faced difficulties in reaching the affected areas, as most of China was experiencing a cold wave with subzero temperatures. Earthquakes are frequent in western China, where the tectonic plates collide. The worst quake in recent history was in 2008, when nearly 70,000 people died in Sichuan.