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Home » Earthquakes » Eastern Sichuan, China Earthquake

Eastern Sichuan, China Earthquake - Maps, Video, News


Magnitude 7.9 - May 12, 2008 - Information as Reported by USGS

China Earthquake

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 (11.8 miles).

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.

The government 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 and Vietnam.

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.

USGS Intensity Estimates
MMI
City
Population
VIII
Jiangyou
127k
VIII
Tianpeng
60k
VII
Deyang
152k
VII
Linqiong
55k
VII
Chengdu
3950k
VII
Mianyang
264k
VII
Guangyuan
213k
VI
Tongchuan
58k
VI
Zengjiahe
1k
VI
Dongxichang
4k
VI
Nanlong
63k
VI
Langzhong
60k
V
Pujichang
2k
V
Leshan
154k
V
Changchi
1k
V
Xialianghekou
1k
V
Ziyang
87k
V
Gaoping
204k
V
Hanzhong
145k
V
Chonglong
58k
V
Suining
124k
V
Luocheng
73k
V
Nanchong
7150k
V
Neijiang
546k
V
Zigong
689k
V
Hechuan
97k
V
Beidao
74k
V
Daxian
130k
V
Yongchuan
94k
V
Chongqing
3967k
V
Yibin
242k
V
Lanzhou
3200k
V
Jiangjin
61k
V
Guozhen
85k
V
Xunchang
64k
V
Xichang
126k
V
Beibei
112k
IV
Yudong
81k
IV
Wanxian
188k
IV
Xianyang
1034k
IV
Yuxia
60k
IV
Linxia
202k
IV
Puhechang
1k
IV
Changsha
1k
IV
Fubaochang
3k
IV
Xiantanchang
1k
IV
Caijiagang
2k
IV
Fuling
166k
IV
Pingliang
108k
IV
Guandu
2k
IV
Guofuchang
1k
IV
Shijiaochang
2k
IV
Weinan
172k
IV
Dongxi
7k
IV
Zhaotong
109k
IV
Ganshui
5k
IV
Sanchahe
1k
IV
Chumi
3k
IV
Taipingdu
3k
IV
Liangcunchang
1k
IV
Lichuan
72k
IV
Wenshui
5k
IV
Sangmu
1k
IV
Lintong
75k
IV
Weining
56k
IV
Songkan
4k
IV
Enshi
95k
IV
Yanliang
60k
IV
Xinzhan
2k
IV
Bijie
77k
IV
Huaqiuba
1k
IV
Baiyin
188k
IV
Loushanguan
80k
IV
Tongchuan
223k
IV
Hancheng
58k
IV
Zunyi
466k
IV
Laohekou
253k
IV
Panzhihua
461k
IV
Jinshi
82k
IV
Gucheng
74k
IV
Danjiangkou
92k
IV
Anshun
351k
IV
Shiyan
408k
IV
Nanzhang
83k
IV
Shiyan
3460k
IV
Zhicheng
159k
IV
Xining
767k
IV
Dengzhou
59k
IV
Xiangfan
462k
IV
Jishou
102k
IV
Zhijiang
60k
IV
Jinhe
3k
IV
Xujiaba
3k
IV
Xinye
61k
IV
Youyupu
1k
IV
Yicheng
61k
IV
Chadian
1k
IV
Yuncheng
201k
IV
Ankang
132k
IV
Jingzhou
177k
IV
Nanmuping
1k
IV
Buhe
106k
IV
Dabachang
1k
IV
Linfen
232k
IV
Yichang
476k
IV
Anping
2k
IV
Shiqian
9k
IV
Changde
517k
IV
Huaihua
127k
IV
Qujing
146k
IV
Yanmen
1k
IV
Yima
82k
IV
Tongwan
2k
IV
Luojiu
2k
IV
Zhangjiajie
86k
IV
Anxiang
57k
IV
Maoping
1k
IV
Tanwan
1k
IV
Bahuang
1k
IV
Lantian
1k
IV
Huomachong
1k
IV
Shanmen
3k
IV
Jingmen
167k
IV
Tongren
90k
IV
Chatian
1k
IV
Dali
134k
IV
Xinzhi
72k
IV
Zhushi
2k
IV
Zhujiachang
1k
IV
Ma'an
1k
IV
Yangtou
1k
IV
Duyun
91k
IV
Shuidatian
1k
IV
Yiyang
202k
IV
Xiaoweizhai
58k
IV
Qinglang
2k
IV
Guiyang
1171k
IV
Runsonglaozhai
1k
IV
Yaoshi
1k
IV
Bozhou
1k
IV
Jiangkouxu
1k
IV
Loudi
150k
IV
Changzhi
699k
IV
Lanli
1k
IV
Huangtukuang
1k
IV
Zhongzhai
1k
IV
Xiaolongmen
1k
IV
Huaqiao
2k
IV
Bangdong
1k
IV
Luyang
3k
IV
Lianyuan
66k
IV
Biyong
1k
IV
Zhongfang
1k
IV
Gaoniang
2k
IV
Xianrenwan
1k
IV
Darong
1k
IV
Tuokou
2k
IV
Qiaojiang
3k
IV
Baishi
1k
IV
Huangxikou
1k
IV
Longtou'an
2k
IV
Qiancheng
9k
IV
Yongfeng
70k
IV
Ouyang
1k
IV
Shuangxi
1k
IV
Jiangshi
1k
IV
Shijiang
9k
IV
Dongshan Dongzuxiang
1k
IV
Gangdong
1k
IV
Qimeng
1k
IV
Liangyaping
1k
IV
Xiaohenglong
1k
IV
Benchu
1k
IV
Hengbanqiao
1k
IV
Pingjiang
1k
IV
Anjiang
55k
IV
Puzi
1k
IV
Gaowu
1k
IV
Dabaozi
1k
IV
Aoshi
1k
IV
Hongzhou
1k
IV
Tonggu
1k
IV
Huangmaoyuan
1k
IV
Hongjiang
59k
IV
Dengyuantai
2k
IV
Longlisuo
2k
IV
Longtan
2k
IV
Gaoyi
1k
IV
Xiaoshajiang
2k
IV
Guilin
649k
IV
Ruoshui
1k
IV
Xixi
2k
IV
Huangjinjing
1k
IV
Wantouqiao
1k
IV
Shuiche
3k
IV
Tingdong
1k
IV
Jinshiqiao
1k
IV
Pukou
1k
IV
Simenqian
5k
IV
Pingjiang
1k
IV
Xiajiang
1k
IV
Huayuan
1k
IV
Dundong
1k
IV
Zhuzhoujiang Miaozuxiang
1k
IV
Zhongchao
2k
IV
Liuduzhai
8k
IV
Gaozeng
1k
IV
Boyang
1k
IV
Tangjiafang
1k
IV
Xianxi
2k
IV
Lengshuijiang
115k
IV
Shuangjiang
8k
IV
Shangmei
75k
IV
Wuyang
2k
IV
Jiangfang
1k
IV
Zhaishi Miaozudongzuxiang
3k
IV
Huangqiao
2k
IV
Maoping
2k
IV
Xishan
1k
IV
Yatunpu
1k
IV
Hexiangqiao
4k
IV
Lixiqiao
1k
IV
Linkou
2k
IV
Dengjiapu
2k
IV
Xiyan
3k
IV
Lengshuitanqu
88k
IV
Qingxi
1k
IV
Gaoqiao
1k
IV
Hongqiao
58k
IV
Malin
2k
IV
Baisha
2k
IV
Huanglong
1k
IV
Qingjiangqiao
1k
IV
Yaoshi
1k
IV
Qiyang
66k

Most Recent

Reuters Special Coverage:

Regular updates on the Sichuan earthquake.

Animated Map of Aftershocks:

See an animation of where and when the
aftershocks occurred.

"Quake Lakes" Present Threat:

Landslides have blocked rivers to create
fast-rising lakes. Troops are working to dig diversion canals, while nearby residents are prepared for possible evacuation.

China Earthquake Videos
China Earthquake Aftermath: CNN's Hugh Riminton talks about his experiences as a reporter covering the Sichuan earthquake.

Rural Quake Survivors' Struggle: Some farms and small towns affected by the earthquake are still inaccessible to rescue workers, or are being overlooked.

News Reports & More

Landslides Dam 21 Rivers:

Natural, unstable dams now hold large amounts of impounded water and present a flood risk.

Aftershock Epicenters:

They cluster in a line along the edge of the Longmen Shan mountain range. What does it mean?

Schools at Risk:

The recent quake in China rings the bell for earthquake saftey in all schools worldwide.

Scenic Valley in Ruin:

This article talks about some of the landslide damage in Sichuan.

Post-Quake Photos:

A gallery with many images of the earthquake's aftermath.

WHO Warns of Disease Risk:

Contaminated drinking water, food and a lack of sanitary conditions are a problem.

Two Stages of Faulting:

Japanese scientists say that failure happened in stages, leading to wide-reaching damage.

China Earthquake From NPR:

Articles and podcasts related to the Sichuan earthquake.

USGS Earthquake Report:

Includes quake details, summary, maps, and
scientific information.

Sichuan Earthquake:

Updated earthquake news from CNN.

Olympic Chiefs Say: 'Beijing is Safe'.:

Athletes and visitors have no need to worry about safety at the games.

Beijing at Its Best in Response...:

  The response of the Chinese government contrasts sharply with what happened recently in Burma.

Wikipedia Entry:

A detailed account of the earthquake in the free
online encyclopedia.

China Map:

Political map and Landsat satellite image.
China Earthquake Maps
China earthquake map

USGS Location Map:

    The earthquake occurred in the Eastern Sichuan area of western China.

China earthquake intensity contour map

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.

Landslide Damage
China earthquake landslides

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.

Aftershock Alignment
China earthquake epicenter  map

Aftershocks align

along the northeast-southwest trending fault revealing the tremendous energy accumulated prior to the earthquake. Map by USGS. NASA Article.

Population Exposure
China earthquake population impact data

Population Intensity Exposure:

    A USGS summary of the number of people exposed to different intensity levels. (* Estimated exposure. Not calculated for lowest intensities.)


 

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