Current observation and analysis show that the 5.1-magnitude earthquake that hit Guye district of Tangshan city on Sunday morning is an aftershock of the 7.8-magnitude quake that jolted Tangshan in 1976, and it's unlikely another quake of more than 5-magnitude will occur in the area in the short term, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.
The epicenter was monitored at 39.78 degrees north latitude and 118.44 degrees east longitude, with the quake striking at a depth of 10 km, a release from the center said.
People in nearby regions, including Beijing and Tianjin, felt strong tremors. No casualties have been reported so far.
The epicenter of Sunday's earthquake was 28 km away from the epicenter of the 1976 Tangshan earthquake and 132 km away from Tianjin and 177 km away from Beijing.
The epicenter is in the aftershock zone of the 7.8-magnitude quake in Tangshan, and Sunday's quake is believed to be a normal earthquake fluctuation of the aftershock zone, the center said.
A total of 332 aftershocks of more than 4.0-magnitude have been recorded since 1976 in the region. But aftershocks turned weak after May 1977. Since then, only five earthquakes above 5-magnitude have been recorded, including the one on Sunday. The last major aftershock, a 5-magnitude quake, was recorded in Guye district of Tangshan in 1995, according to the center.
The 7.8-magnitude quake in Tangshan in 1976 was one of the deadliest quakes to ever jolt China, killing more than 240,000 people.