The country’s Earthquake Networks Center said the 5.0 magnitude quake struck at 1:03 p.m. local time at a depth of about 3 miles.
It determined the epicenter was 4 miles northeast of Xinling and 650 miles north-northwest of Hong Kong.
Approximately 96 homes were destroyed and about 2,500 others severely damaged, according to a spokesman for the Miao Autonomous Prefecture.
The shaking also unleashed several landslides in the county.
Damage from the quake was estimated at $2.6 million.
The Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydropower project, is located more than 60 miles from the epicenter.
A spokesman for the China Three Gorges Corporation said the dam remained intact and was operating normally after the earthquake.