Quake in western China - 6.9 - USGS

chiana quake map
kills 400, buries more
10,000 + injured
Death toll - rises to over 600 within 24 hours



china quake 2010


Region:                            SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA


200-300 aftershocks
Geographic coordinates:            33.263N,  96.665E
Magnitude:                        6.9 Mw
Depth:                            46 km
Universal Time (UTC):             13 Apr 2010  23:49:42
Time near the Epicenter:          14 Apr 2010  07:49:42
Local standard time in your area: 13 Apr 2010  15:49:42

Location with respect to nearby cities:
239 km (149 miles) NNW (347 degrees) of Qamdo, Xizang (Tibet)
380 km (236 miles) SSE (155 degrees) of Golmud, Qinghai, China
604 km (376 miles) SW (234 degrees) of Xining, Qinghai, China
919 km (571 miles) NE (44 degrees) of THIMPHU, Bhutan


--- On Wed, 4/14/10, STEPHEN J & PAULA CHIPMAN <lunadancr@msn.com> wrote:

From: STEPHEN J & PAULA CHIPMAN <lunadancr@msn.com>
To: "lee chin" <barbaraleechin@yahoo.com>
Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 12:26 PM

Latest Earthquakes in the World -.

Update time = Wed Apr 14 19:21:00 UTC 2010

y/m/d h:m:s
  4.1 2010/04/14 12:19:6 33.077 96.846 10.0 SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
 4.8   2010/04/14 03:15:47    32.848    96.340  10.0   SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
   5.8   2010/04/14 01:25:15    33.179    96.448  4.0   SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
   5.2   2010/04/14 00:12:25    33.030    96.560  10.0   SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA

BEIJING — A series of strong earthquakes struck a mountainous Tibetan area of western China on Wednesday, killing at least 400 people and injuring more than 10,000 as houses made of mud and wood collapsed, officials said. Many more people were trapped, and the toll was expected to rise.


The largest quake was recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey as magnitude 6.9. In the aftermath, panicked people, many bleeding from their wounds, flooded the streets of a Qinghai province township where most of the homes had been flattened. Students were reportedly buried inside several damaged schools.


china earthquake 2010


Paramilitary police used shovels to dig through the rubble in the town, footage on state television showed. Officials said excavators were not available. Crews worked to repair the damaged road to the nearest airport and clear the way for equipment and rescue teams. Hospitals were overwhelmed, many lacking even the most basic supplies, and doctors were in short supply.


By nightfall, the airport was operating with emergency power and receiving relief flights carrying medical workers and supplies, state media reported.


Downed phone lines, strong winds and frequent aftershocks hindered rescue efforts, said Wu Yong, commander of the local army garrison, who said the death toll "may rise further as lots of houses collapsed."


With many people forced outside, the provincial government said it was rushing 5,000 tents and 100,000 coats and blankets to the mountainous region, with an altitude of around 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) where night time temperatures plunge below freezing.


Workers were racing to release water from a reservoir in the disaster area where a crack had formed after the quake to prevent a flood, according to the China Earthquake Administration.


The Wednesday quake, which struck at 7:49 a.m. local time (2349 GMT, 7:49 p.m. EDT), was centered on Yushu county, in the southern part of Qinghai, near Tibet, with a population of about 100,000, mostly herders and farmers.


Lightly populated by Chinese standards, the region is remote, making the rescue operation logistically difficult. Relief flights, for example, need to carry in spare jet fuel to augment the limited supplies stored at Yushu's airport, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.


The USGS recorded six temblors in less than three hours, all but one registering 5.0 or higher. The China Earthquake Networks Center measured the largest quake's magnitude at 7.1. Qinghai averages more than five earthquakes a year of at least magnitude 5.0, Xinhua said. They normally do not cause much damage.


Residents fled as the ground shook, toppling houses made of mud and wood, as well as temples, gas stations, electric poles and the top of a Buddhist pagoda in a park, witnesses and state media said. The quake also triggered landslides, Xinhua said.


"Nearly all the houses made of mud and wood collapsed. There was so much dust in the air, we couldn't see anything," said Ren Yu, general manager of Yushu Hotel in Jiegu, the county's main town. "There was a lot of panic. People were crying on the streets. Some of our staff, who were reunited with their parents, were also in tears."


More than 100 guests of the hotel, which was relatively undamaged, were evacuated to open spaces such as public squares, Ren told The Associated Press by phone. Hotel staff also helped in rescue efforts in other buildings, Ren said.


"We pulled out 70 people, but some of them died on the way to the hospital," Ren said.


The death toll rose to about 400 by afternoon, according to China Central Television. Emergency official Pubucairen was quoted as saying that the number of injured has risen to more than 10,000. The official, who goes by only one name, said rescuers were treating the injured at hospitals, race tracks and sports stadiums.


President Hu Jintao sent a vice premier to supervise rescue efforts and more than 5,000 soldiers, medical workers and other rescuers were mobilized, joining 700 soldiers already on the ground, Xinhua said. A message of sympathy also came from the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of the often fervently Buddhist Tibetans who is reviled by Chinese leaders.


Yushu and its environs were among the Tibetan areas caught up in the anti-government protests that swept the region in March 2008. Tensions have simmered since, and the region has been closed to foreigners off and on.


CCTV reported that soon after the quake, troops secured banks, oil depots and caches of explosives.


Yushu was for centuries home to important Buddhist monasteries and a trading hub and gateway to central Tibet. In recent years, the government has poured investment into Yushu, opening an airport last year and building a highway to the provincial capital of Xining.


The quake struck along the Longmenshan fault, which runs beneath the mountains that divide the Tibetan plateau to the west and the Sichuan plane to the east. A magnitude-7.9 quake on the fault's eastern edge two years ago left almost 90,000 people dead or missing in Sichuan. Poor design, shoddy construction and the lax enforcement of building codes were found to be rampant.


In Jiegu, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the epicenter, the local fire brigade was trying to rescue 20 students stuck inside a school, Kang Zifu, head of the rescue team, told state television. It did not say what type of school it was.


Five students were killed and others trapped in a primary school, a teacher told Xinhua, saying morning classes had not yet started when the quake struck. Another official said students were buried at several primary schools.


More than 85 percent of houses had collapsed in Jiegu, which Tibetans call Gyegu, while large cracks have appeared on buildings still standing, Xinhua cited Zhuohuaxia, a local publicity official, as saying.


"The streets in Jiegu are thronged with panic and full of injured people, with many of them bleeding from their injuries," said Zhuohuaxia, who goes by one name.


A monk named Luo Song from a monastery in Yushu county said his sister who worked at a local orphanage told him three children were sent to a hospital but the facilities lacked equipment.


"There are no doctors, they have only bandages, they can't give injections, they can't put people on intravenous drips," the monk said by phone while on a visit to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Rural hospitals typically are not well equipped.


A local military official, Shi Huajie, told CCTV rescuers were working with limited equipment.


"The difficulty we face is that we don't have any excavators. Many of the people have been buried and our soldiers are trying to pull them out with human labor," Shi said. "It is very difficult to save people with our bare hands."


Associated Press writer Charles Hutzler and researchers Zhao Liang and Yu Bing contributed to this report.



 The 2010 Yushu earthquake was a 6.9 (USGS, EMSC) or 7.1 (Xinhua) magnitude earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai, China, on 14 April 2010.

According to the state-run Xinhua News Agency, about 400 people were killed and about 10,000 were injured.[3][5] The epicentre was

located in Rima village , Shang Laxiu township , in remote and rugged terrain, near the border of Tibet Autonomous Region. Gyêgu town,

the seat of Yushu, is also near the epicenter.


In Qinghai, many buildings in Gyêgu collapsed.[6] A vocational school collapsed and trapped many students.The county is located about

240 kilometres (150 mi) north west of the Tibetan town of Qamdo. It is a sparsely populated area on the Tibetan plateau that is regularly
 hit by earthquakes.


In Sichuan, strong shaking could be felt in the counties of Sêrxü, Dêgê, and Baiyü, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Road damage
was reported in Sêrxü County.


Due to the rough terrain and the fact that landslides have destroyed the infrastructure, the initial rescue operations were undertaken by the

People's Armed Police and soldiers in the People's Liberation Army already stationed in the Tibetan region. The Qinghai provincial

government in a statement said that five thousand tents and 100,000 thick, cotton coats and heavy blankets were being sent to help survivors
 cope with strong winds and near-freezing temperatures of around 6 °C (43 °F).


Officials have warned that aftershocks above magnitude 5.5 are likely to continue.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao urged people to try to help those affected by the earthquake.[13]


  1. ^ Magnitude 6.9 – SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA, usgs.gov. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  2. ^ Mw 6.9 SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA emsc-csem.org accessed 14 April 2010
  3. ^ a b At least 400 dead, 10,000 injured in 7.1-magnitude quake in China's Qinghai, xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  4. ^ 兰州军区和武警部队官兵投入青海玉树抗震救灾 Xinhua.net 14 April 2010
  5. ^ "China earthquake kills hundreds in Qinghai". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8619593.stm. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  6. ^ a b c "BBC 中文网 - 兩岸三地 - 青海玉樹地震已造成至少400多人死亡". Bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/zhongwen/trad/china/2010/04/100414_qinghai_quake_update.shtml. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  7. ^ "815 郵政編碼(郵遞區號)查詢 - 郵編庫(繁體)" (in (Chinese)). Postcode.jamesqi.com. 2010-02-26.
  8. http://postcode.jamesqi.com/815. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  9. ^ Michael Bristow (14 April 2010). "China earthquake kills hundreds in Qinghai". BBC World. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8619109.stm.
  10. ^ "大公網". Takungpao.com. http://www.takungpao.com/news/10/04/14/_IN-1243395.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  11. ^ 青海7.1级地震 武警驻青海3000余兵力投入抢险 Xinhua.net 14 April 2010
  12. ^ PTI (14 April 2010). "Strong quake in western China's Qinghai kills 300". The Hindu (Beijing). http://beta.thehindu.com/news/international/article396762.ece?homepage=true.
  13. ^ Text Broadcast, National Turk (April 14, 2010). "West Central China – An earthquake estimated to be 7.1 magnitude has ripped through West-Central China killing at least 300 people and injuring thousands as rescue workers work against time to find survivors under collapsed buildings.". National Turk. http://www.nationalturk.com/en/china-earthquake-7-1-magnitude-300-dead-thousands-injured-79785263. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  14. ^ "China's Hu, Wen urge all-out efforts to save people in quake-hit zone". News.xinhuanet.com. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-04/14/c_13251280.htm. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Yushu_earthquake"

china quake damage2People walk on the ruins of collapsed buildings after series of earthquakes
today in Yushu County, northwest China's Qinghai Province. The largest quake was recorded as magnitude 6.9.

What was different about China's quake?

Unlike Haiti and Chile quakes, China's took place in middle of single plate

By Andrea Thompson

The earthquake that struck China in the early hours of the morning was different than some of the major temblors that have struck around the world so far this year in that it occurred in the middle of one of Earth's tectonic plates, instead of at the junction between them.


The 6.9-magnitude quake, according to estimates by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), struck at 7:49 a.m. ET near the area of Yushu in Qinghai province. This area is part of the Tibetan Plateau, which stands over 3 miles above sea level.


The Tibetan Plateau was created, along with the Himalayas, about 50 million years ago as part of the Indian subcontinent began to collide with Eurasia.

But this earthquake didn't occur where the two plates that crunched together meet; instead, it occurred within the plateau, explained Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.

A dozen killer earthquakes
Thousands rattle the Earth daily — but only a few cause utter devastation.
The deadliest earthquake on record, which occurred in Shaanxi, China, and killed 830,000 people in 1556, was an intraplate earthquake. The New Madrid seismic zone in the central United States is the most seismically active intraplate region in North America. Microseismic earthquakes with magnitudes no greater than 2 occur on average every other day in this zone.

The plateau, where the recent quake occurred, experiences continued uplift from the processes that originally created it, and is also being squeezed by other forces, which create numerous faults in the area. Exactly what fault ruptured in this quake isn't yet known, but Baldwin said it is likely a shallow strike-slip type of fault, in which the two sides of the fault slide past each other to release pent-up energy.

"It's an active area," Baldwin told LiveScience.

But though the type of earthquake is different from those that struck Haiti and Chile in recent months, the signature of these quakes looks the same to the instruments that scientists use to measure them.

"Earthquakes all share a common seismic signal," Baldwin said, which consists of a two-phase signal: First, so-called p-waves generated by the earthquake propagate around the world and are detected by seismometers, then come the s-waves. The timing differences are what allow seismologists to pinpoint the locations of earthquakes.

It will take time for the area that ruptured in the China quake to settle down, and several aftershocks have already struck the region, ranging in magnitude from about a 4.8 to a 5.8, Baldwin said. The number and strength of the aftershocks should decrease with time, he added

china quake damage

Quake region part of the ‘Roof of the World’

Mainly Tibetan area saw anti-government riots in 2008

The Chinese Prefecture of Yushu, which was hit by a series of strong earthquakes on Wednesday, has an average altitude of more than 13,000 feet, according to the Xinhua news service, and lies on the Tibetan-Qinghai plateau known as the "Roof of the World."

Its population is more than 250,000, of whom 97 percent are Tibetans, Xinhua stated.

Yushu and its environs are among the Tibetan areas that were caught up in the anti-government protests that swept the region in March 2008.

Tensions have simmered since, and the region has been closed to foreigners off and on. Chinese Central Television (CCTV) reported that soon after the quake, troops secured banks, oil depots and caches of explosives.

Yushu was for centuries home to important Buddhist monasteries and a trading hub and gateway to central Tibet.

In recent years, the government has poured investment into Yushu, opening an airport last year and building a highway to the provincial capital of Xining.

Yushu's gross domestic product was more than 2.5 billion yuan ($367.6 million) in 2009, Xinhua said. Some 21,700 people work as farmers and herders.

Yushu lies in Qinghai Province in China's north-west on the border with the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Qinghai averages more than five earthquakes a year of at least magnitude 5.0, according to the Xinhua. The quakes normally do not cause much damage in the sparsely populated province.


Qinghai earthquake: survivors tell of panic, fear and grief
Editor: Zhang Xiang

  2010-04-14 20:44:48  

Special Report: 7.1-Magnitude Earthquake hits China's Qinghai


YUSHU, Qinghai, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Tezin Drolma felt the floor waving when she was about to leave her home in northwest China for work on Wednesday morning.

"My first instinct told me it was an earthquake," Tezin Drolma told Xinhua in Gyegu Town near the epicenter in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, southern Qinghai Province.

The quake rattled things on the table, and Tezin Drolma dashed back to the bedroom and carried her 2-year-old son, who was sleeping, out of the house.

"I did not even put any clothes on him," she said.

Drolma felt two tremors. The first at around 5:40 a.m. and the stronger second one came at around 7:40 a.m., she said.

Her family of five fled the two-storey house.

"I don't know what happened to the house as I have not returned home yet," she said. "Most of the earth and wood structured houses toppled.

"I saw bodies on the road," she recalled.

Another resident named Lungme and five members of her family were buried under the rubble of her home. "It was all so sudden. I had no time to react," she said.

She and four family members were dug out by her neighbors, Lungme said, "but my mother died."

"Eight people in one of my neighbor's family were all buried. They were all dead when they were found," she said.

A student at the Yushu Vocational School, where at least one third of the school buildings collapsed, said, "I know there were several students in the teaching building. Several bodies were found in the ruins, but the casualties are not known yet."

About 400 people have died and 10,000 were injured after the 7.1-magnitude quake hit the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu, which lies on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at an altitude above 4,000 meters.

The quake also killed five people and injured one in neighboring Shiqu County, in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze, Sichuan Province.

China sifts rubble for quake survivors in Qinghai

china quake 4-14-10
Rescuers so far have little equipment to help them

China has been sifting rubble for survivors of the deadly quake which hit the remote Qinghai region as thousands spent a freezing night in the open.

Rescuers used bare hands and picks to search debris as night fell, with little heavy lifting equipment in the mountainous, mainly Tibetan area.

Officials say 589 people died and 10,000 were injured when the quake struck Yushu county early on Wednesday.

But the death toll is expected to rise and further aftershocks are feared.

There was so much dust in the air, we couldn't see anything,
Ren Yu
Eyewitness in Jiegu

Relief flights carrying medical workers and supplies have been landing in Yushu airport but the road to the town of 70,000 people has been blocked by a landslide, the Associated Press news agency reports from Qinghai's provincial capital, Xining.


The BBC's Chris Hogg, in Qinghai and travelling by road to the disaster area, passed long columns of military vehicles carrying diggers and other heavy lifting equipment as dawn was breaking on Thursday.


The columns, which included ambulances, were about eight or nine hours from the disaster zone, he said.


In the township of Jiegu, 85% of buildings were destroyed, officials say, and state TV has been showing street after street reduced to rubble.

Several schools collapsed and at least 56 students are known to have died, 22 of them in a school in Yushu.


Chinese President Hu Jintao has called for an all-out effort to save as many people as possible and some 5,000 rescuers, including 700 soldiers, have been sent to the disaster area.


The civil affairs ministry said it was to send 5,000 tents, 50,000 coats and 50,000 quilts as local officials in Yushu reported a lack of tents, medicines and medical equipment.


China has received messages of sympathy and offers of aid from foreign states including Japan, Russia and France.


'So much dust'


About 900 people have been pulled alive from under the rubble since the quake struck at 0749 on Wednesday (2349 GMT Tuesday), at the shallow depth of 10km (six miles), Chinese media say.


china quake map


ut Wu Yong, a local army commander, said the death toll could rise "as lots of houses collapsed".

Rescue operations were being hampered by the fact that the magnitude 6.9 quake disrupted telecommunications, knocked out electricity and triggered landslides.

In Xining, some 860km (530 miles) from the quake zone, soldiers, fire-fighters and rescue workers with sniffer dogs thronged the airport, which closed to civilian flights for several hours to make way for relief planes.


Efforts are being slowed down by the lack of jet fuel stored at Yushu airport. Relief planes are having to carry extra fuel, limiting their space for supplies.


Feb 2010: Magnitude 8.8 quake in central Chile kills at least 450
Jan 2010: About 230,000 die in magnitude 7.0 tremor in Haiti
April 2009: Quake measuring 6.3 in L'Aquila, Italy, kills 300 people
May 2008: 87,000 die in 7.8 scale tremor in Sichuan province, China
Oct 2005: Quake measuring 7.6 hits north Pakistan, killing 73,000

History of deadly earthquakes
'No link' between Chinese quakes

As local officials struggled to find accommodation for the thousands of people left homeless, weather forecasters were predicting wind and sleet in the coming days, putting victims at risk of exposure.


Luo Song, a monk from a monastery in Yushu county, said his sister who worked at an orphanage there had told him three children were sent to a hospital but the facilities lacked equipment.


"She said the hospitals are facing a lot of difficulty right now because there are no doctors, they have only bandages, they can't give injections, they can't put people on intravenous drips," he told AP by phone from the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.


In Jiegu, hotel manager Ren Yu said that nearly all of the local mud and wood houses had collapsed.



"There was so much dust in the air, we couldn't see anything," he said.


"There was a lot of panic. People were crying on the streets. Some of our staff, who were reunited with their parents, were also in tears."

Harrowing photographs have emerged of emergency workers removing dust-covered dead infants from rubble.


The high-altitude region is prone to earthquakes but, according to the US Geological Survey, this was the strongest tremor within 100km of the area since 1976.


In 2008, a huge quake struck neighbouring Sichuan province, about 800km from Yushu. That left 87,000 people dead or missing and five million homeless.


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