Eastern Sichuan, China Earthquake - Maps, Video, News
Magnitude 7.9 - May 12, 2008 - Information as Reported by USGS
Sichuan Earthquake Summary:
A magnitude 7.9 earthquake occurred in the Eastern Sichuan
area of western China on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 2:28 PM
local time. It occurred at a depth of about 19 kilometers
The earthquake destroyed numerous communities, leaving an estimated five million people without housing. Severe damage was caused by landslides which dammed rivers and flooded lands upstream.
estimated that about 70,000 people were killed as a direct result
of the earthquake. Disease and hunger are expected to claim thousands of
lives for months after the earthquake because supplies of food and
clean drinking water have been damaged.
The earthquake was felt throughout China and in parts of Bangladesh,
India, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand
Numerous strong after shocks caused extensive damage collapsing
thousands of homes and killing thousands of people.
USGS Tectonic Summary:
The Sichuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, occurred as the result of motion on a northeast striking reverse fault or thrust fault on the northwestern margin of the Sichuan Basin. The earthquake's epicenter and focal-mechanism are consistent with it having occurred as the result of movement on the Longmenshan fault or a tectonically related fault. The earthquake reflects tectonic stresses resulting from the convergence of crustal material slowly moving from the high Tibetan Plateau, to the west, against strong crust underlying the Sichuan Basin and southeastern China.
On a continental scale, the seismicity of central and eastern Asia is a result of northward convergence of the India plate against the Eurasia plate with a velocity of about 50 mm/y. The convergence of the two plates is broadly accommodated by the uplift of the Asian highlands and by the motion of crustal material to the east away from the uplifted Tibetan Plateau.
The northwestern margin of the Sichuan Basin has previously experienced destructive earthquakes. The magnitude 7.5 earthquake of August 25, 1933, killed more than 9,300 people.
The earthquake occurred in the Eastern Sichuan area of western China.
Intensity Contour Map:
USGS Map of MMI contours plotted over population per ˜1 square km (see gray scale bar on top of map). The regions of integer MMI values are separated by the thick contour lines and labeled with Roman numerals.
Earthquake Induced Landslides:
Satellite image showing hundreds of landslides that were triggered by the event. These slides wiped out thousands of homes, killed thousands of people and blocked rivers with at lease 30 unstable dams. The river running through the image is Min Jiang. In these false-color images, red indicates vegetation; blue-gray indicates bare ground, buildings, and paved areas; and deep blue indicates water. NASA Image – about 90 miles from the epicenter.
along the northeast-southwest trending fault revealing the tremendous energy accumulated prior to the earthquake. Map by USGS. NASA Article.
Population Intensity Exposure:
A USGS summary of the number of people exposed to different intensity levels. (* Estimated exposure. Not calculated for lowest intensities.)