A 5.5-magnitude earthquake jolted northwest China on Thursday killing eight persons, the US Geological Survey said.

Frequent aftershocks were felt, locals said. At least 11 others were injured after the quake hit Xinjiang 5.58 a.m., Xinhua new agency reported 

Search and rescue operations are underway. 

The epicentre was in the southeast part of the Pamir Plateau at a depth of about 8.0 km.

The remote and sparsely populated area where the quake occurred is close to the borders of Tajikistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.