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Sichuan 2008
May-12-2008-China-map
Date (local) May 12, 2008, 14:28
Magnitude 8.0 Ms[1] / 7.9 Mw[2]
Depth: 19 km
Epicenter location near Chengdu
Tsunami: no
Casualties: 69,197 (dead), 374,176 (injured), 18,238 (missing)
(as of 16 July, 2008 18:18 local time)[3]

On Monday, May 12, 2008, at 2:28 PM local time (06:28 UTC), an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 occurred 80 km westnorthwest of Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

The earthquake is also called Great Sichuan Earthquake (simplified Chinese: 四川大地震; traditional Chinese: 四川大地震; pinyin: Sìchuān dà dìzhèn) or Wenchuan earthquake (simplified Chinese: 汶川大地震; traditional Chinese: 汶川大地震; pinyin: Wènchuān dà dìzhèn), after the earthquake's epicenter in Wenchuan County, Sichuan province. The earthquake was felt as far away as Beijing (1,500 km away) and Shanghai (1,700 km away), where office buildings swayed with the tremor.[4] The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries.

Official figures (as of July 6, 2008 12:00 local time) state that 69,197 are confirmed dead, including 68,636 in Sichuan province, and 374,176 injured, with 18,340 listed as missing.[3] The earthquake left about 4.8 million people homeless,[5] though the number could be as high as 11 million.[6] It is the deadliest and strongest earthquake to hit China since the Tangshan earthquake 1976, which killed at least 240,000 people. Approximately 15 million people lived in the affected area.

The place where the earthquake hit is on a spreading zone where the Yangtze plate diverges from the Eurasian plate.

Significant shocks Edit

Strong aftershocks continue to strike even months after the main quake. On May 25, an aftershock of 6.1 Mw (6.4 Ms according to CEA) hit northeast of the original earthquake's epicenter, in Qingchuan County,[7] causing eight deaths, 1000 injuries, and destroying thousands of buildings.[8] On May 27, two aftershocks, one 5.2 Mw in Qingchuan County and one 5.7 Mw in Ningqiang County in Shaanxi Province, led to the collapse of more than 420,000 homes and injured 63 people.[9] The same area suffered two more aftershocks of 5.6 and 6.0 Ms (5.8 and 5.5 Mw, respectively, according to USGS) on July 23,[7] resulting in 1 death, 6 serious injuries, collapse of hundreds of homes and damaging kilometers of highways.[10][11] As late as August 1, a 6.1 Ms (5.7 Mw according to USGS) hit Pingwu County and Beichuan County, Sichuan[7], causing 2 deaths, 345 injuries, collapse of 707 homes, damages to over 1,000 homes, and blocking 25 km of country roads.[12][13][14]

Only shocks with a magnitude equal to or higher than 5.5 are listed. Magnitudes from 6.0 are marked in bold. The main shock is colored in green.

Date Time (UTC) Magnitude Epicenter Depth (km) Additional information
12 May 06:28:01 7.9 31.00°N, 103.32°E 19 killed nearly 70,000 people
12 May 06:41:56 5.7 31.59°N, 104.03°E 10
12 May 06:42:08 5.7 31.34°N, 104.68°E 10
12 May 06:43:14 5.8 31.21°N, 103.71°E 10
12 May 09:42:24 5.5 31.53°N, 104.09°E 10
12 May 11:11:02 6.1 31.21°N, 103.62°E 10
12 May 20:08:50 5.6 31.41°N, 103.89°E 21
13 May 07:07:08 5.8 30.89°N, 103.19°E 9
16 May 05:25:47 5.6 31.35°N, 103.35°E 3
17 May 17:08:25 5.8 32.24°N, 104.98°E 9
25 May 08:21:49 6.1 32.56°N, 105.42°E 18 8 people killed, 1000 injured
27 May 08:37:51 5.7 32.71°N, 105.54°E 10 several people injured
23 Jul 19:54:44 5.5 32.75°N, 105.50°E 4 1 person killed, several injured
24 Jul 07:09:30 5.7 32.75°N, 105.54°E 10
1 Aug 08:32:43 5.7 32.03°N, 104.72°E 11 2 people killed, 345 injured
5 Aug 09:49:17 6.0 32.76°N, 105.49°E 6

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Magnitude of SW China earthquake revised to 8.0", Xinhua News Agency (2008-05-18). Retrieved on 2008-05-18. 
  2. "Magnitude 7.9 - Eastern Sichuan, China", USGS (2008-05-12). Retrieved on 2008-05-20. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Casualties of the Wenchuan Earthquake" (in Chinese), Sina.com (2008-06-08). Retrieved on 2008-07-06. , and "Wenchuan Earthquake has already caused 69,196 fatalities and 18,379 missing" (in Chinese), Sina.com (2008-07-06). Retrieved on 2008-07-07. 
  4. "'Hundreds buried' by China quake", BBC (2008-05-12). Retrieved on 2008-05-20. 
  5. "More than 4.8 million homeless in Sichuan quake: official", Relief Web, Agence France-Presse (2008-05-16). Retrieved on 2008-07-07. 
  6. Hooker, Jake (2008-0526). "Toll Rises in China Quake". New York Times. Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 based on four publications from three government agences
  8. Toll Rises in China Quake - NYTimes.com
  9. "More than 420,000 houses collapse in aftershock epicenter Qingchuan", Xinhua (2008-05-28). Retrieved on 2008-05-31. 
  10. "四川青川5.6级余震 已造成一死十多人受伤 (Roughly: 5.6M Aftershock in Qingchuan, Sichuan caused 1 death and over 10 injuries)" (in Chinese). 腾讯大成网 (2008-07-24). Retrieved on 2008-07-24.
  11. "两次强余震造成广元市1死17伤 (Roughly: Two strong aftershocks caused 1 death, 17 injuries in Guangyuan, Sichuan)" (in Chinese). 四川地震局 (SCEA) (2008-07-25). Retrieved on 2008-07-25.
  12. "平武县在6.1级余震中19人受伤 (19 injured during the 6.1Ms aftershock in Pingwu" (in Chinese), 四川地震局 (SCEA) (2008-08-02). Retrieved on 2008-08-02. 
  13. "平武县响岩镇在强余震中已有181人轻伤 (181 suffered light injury during the strong aftershock in Xiangyan, Pingwu)" (in Chinese), 四川地震局 (SCEA) (2008-08-01). Retrieved on 2008-08-02. 
  14. "四川平武县、北川县交界发生6.1级余震造成2人死亡,345人受伤 (Roughly: A Ms6.1 aftershock in Pingwu and Beichuan, Sichuan caused 2 deaths and 345 injuries)", 中国地震局门户网 (CEA Portal) (2008-08-02). Retrieved on 2008-08-04. 

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