The toll in the 7.1-magnitude quake in China's northwestern Qinghai province has risen to 589 on Thursday, officials said.
The quake struck at 7.49 am on Wednesday at a depth of 33 km, Xinhua reported.
Officials said 18 aftershocks were felt which destroyed houses, temples, gas stations and uprooted electric poles. The tremor also triggered landslides, damaging roads and disrupting power supply and telecommunications.
About 700 soldiers were deployed to clear the rubble and rescue people, while over 5,000 additional rescuers, including soldiers and medical workers, have been dispatched to help in the rescue efforts.