Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake Strikes Western China
A strong earthquake shook a mountainous region in western China near a famous national
park on Tuesday evening, with no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The U.S. Geological Survey said the
magnitude 6.5 quake struck a region bordered by the provinces of Sichuan and Gansu at a depth of just 9 kilometres
(5.5 miles). Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage than deeper ones. The China Earthquake Networks
Centre measured the quake at magnitude 7.0 and said it struck at a depth of 20 kilometres (12 miles).
The quake occurred at about 9:20 p.m. Beijing time near Jiuzhaigou, or Jiuzhai Valley, a
national park known for spectacular waterfalls and karst formations, the Chinese agency said.
Pictures and footage shared by Sichuan Earthquake Bureau on its social media account shows a hotel in Jiuzhaigou
had been severely damaged and a road covered with debris after the earthquake.
The area is located on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau in northern Sichuan province, home to many Tibetan and
other ethnic minority villages. The epicenter struck about 39 kilometres (24 miles) from the county of Jiuzhaigou,
which has a population of around 80,000, in an area that’s 2,000 metres (6,562 feet) above sea level.
It was 285 kilometres (177 miles) from Chengdu, the densely populated capital of Sichuan province, according to the Chinese center.
The Chinese center also said that the earthquake was followed by a tremor measuring 3.3 in magnitude at a depth of
9 kilometres about 20 minutes later. Situated in south-west China on the edge of Tibetan Plateau, Sichuan Province
is prone to earthquakes, and most of the quakes seem to take place in the Longmen Mountain fracture zone in
Western part of Sichuan.
In May 2008, a Magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck Wenchuan, Sichuan, killing nearly 70,000 people.