KASHGAR, CHINA: A strong earthquake hit northwestern China late Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and driving more than 10,000 people from their homes. Seventeen of those killed were children under eight, home watching television when the quake hit. At least 78 people were injured. The earthquake knocked out communications equipment, making damage and casualty assessment difficult in the more remote areas. Authorities expect the death toll to rise as communication is restored. The 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck 35 miles northeast of the city of Kashgar, in the Xinjiang region, at about 11 p.m. local time.