BEIJING - A LIGHT 4.7-magnitude earthquake hit central China on Sunday afternoon, injuring 12 school pupils and levelling 24 houses, state media said.

The quake, at a depth of eight kilometres, shook Zhoukou city in Henan province at 4.58 pm, the Xinhua state news agency quoted the China National Seismological Network as saying.

Twelve students at the same middle school were injured and are in hospital, while 24 houses in Taikang County collapsed and others in neighbouring counties suffered damage, according to Xinhua.

The tremour was felt across eastern Henan, the agency said.

In May 2008 a massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck the south-western Chinese province of Sichuan, killing more than 87,000 people and affecting areas including Henan.

Light China quake injures 12